GUIDE TO MIA1
AMERICAN GU1BS SERIES
ORVILLE J. SWEETING
A GUIDE TO
MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY
Including Miami Beach and Coral Gables
PRINTED IN U. S. A.
RHODE PRINTING-PUBLISHING CO., INC.
220 West 42nd Street. New York. N. Y.
PLANNING YOUR VACATION IN FLORIDA
AND BADE COUNTY
INCLUDING MIAMI BEACH AND
AMERICAN GUIDE SERIES
Compiled by Workers of the Writers 9 Program of
the Work Projects Administration
in the State of Florida
The Florida State Planning Board
BACON, PERCY & DAGGETT
NORTH PORT, NEW YORK
FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1941
THE FLORIDA STATE PLANNING BOARD
State-wide Sponsor of the Florida Writers* Project
FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
JOHN M. CARMODY, Administrator
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION
HOWARD O. HUNTER, Commissioner
FLORENCE KERR, Assistant Commissioner
WILBUR E. HARKNESS, State Administrator
COPYRIGHT 1941 BY
THE FLORIDA STATE PLANNING BOARD
PRINTED IN U.S.A.
All rights are reserved, including the rights to reproduce this
book or parts thereof in any form.
Nobody can tell now, exactly, why Rome and Paris
and London began, or what made them endure and grow
great. It is as if there were places and times in which
human activity becomes a whirlpool which gathers force
not only from man s courage and ambitions and high
hopes but from the very tides of disaster and human
foolishness which otherwise disperse them. Such cities
seem to grow in spite of people, by some power of the
whirlpool itself, which puts to work good and bad, fine
ness and cheapness, everything, so long as it has fibre
and force and the quality of aliveness that makes life.
Something like that, it seems to me, has happened here
in south Florida, under the sun and the hurricane, on
sand and pineland between the changeless Everglades and
the unchanging sea. Miami has been building itself with
all the tough thrust and vigor of a tropic organism. I
doubt if it will be complete, or the whirlpool slack, in
a long time because its strength is that nothing human
is foreign to it, or will be.
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS
The Florida Writers Project acknowledges with thanks the
work of Mrs. Mabel Francis and Roland Lavelle, and the splendid
co-operation given them by the City Commissions, residents, news
papers-, and Chambers of Commerce of the Greater Miami Area in
the preparation of this book. We are indebted to the Florida Art
Project for the cover design, and appreciate the valuable assistance
given the editors by the following consultants:
Walter A. Buswell Erl Roman
Josie Billy (Seminole) Capt. Charles J. Rose
Pete Crossland F. J. Scott
J. J. Farry E. J. Sewell
Charlie Frow Charles H. Steffani
James L. Glynn Judge E. B. Stoneman
R. K. Graham Mrs. Frank Stranahan
Miss Marie Lee Billy Stuart (Seminole)
Norman McKay Charles Steffani
George Merrick W. R. Thomas
T. V. Moore Mrs. Laura Vieley
Thomas J. Pancoast Agnew Welch
W. H. Peace Henry Dean West
H. E. S. Reeves F. Page Wilson
Rolla A. Southworth Carita D. Corse
State Director State Supervisor
Community Service Programs Florida Writers Project
Work Projects Administration.
FOREWORD BY MARJORY STONEHAM DOUGLAS V
MIAMI GENERAL INFORMATION XIII
CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS XIX
Part I: Miami and Dade County
THE CITY OF MIAMI . ;""^j. 3
NATURAL SETTING 8
MIAMI S FRUITS AND FLOWERS 13
FAUNA OF DADE COUNTY 17
EARLY INHABITANTS 23
SEMINOLES, PAST AND PRESENT 28
HISTORY OF MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY 40
CULTURAL LIFE OF MIAMI 65
AGRICULTURE IN DADE COUNTY 74
NEWSPAPERS AND RADIO 91
ARCHITECTURE . . 97
SPORTS AND RECREATION 101
THE GULF STREAM 110
TAMIAMI TRAIL 113
Part II: Miami Points of Interest
BOAT TRIPS 121
Am TOURS 126
POINTS OF INTEREST 128
POINTS OF INTEREST IN MIAMI ENVIRONS 137
Part III: Coconut Grove Chapman Field
Miami Beach Coral Gables
COCONUT GROVE . . . 141
POINTS OF INTEREST IN COCONUT GROVE 147
CHAPMAN FIELD TOUR 148
MIAMI BEACH 155
GENERAL INFORMATION 155
CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS 157
THE STORY OF MIAMI BEACH 158
POINTS OF INTEREST 164
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST 167
CORAL GABLES 168
GENERAL INFORMATION 168
CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS 170
THE STORY OF CORAL GABLES 171
POINTS OF INTEREST 175
Part IV: Appendices
CHRONOLOGY . . . 181
Between pages 28 and 29
Road Along the Bay Seminole Indian Camp
G. W. Romer G. W. Romer
Australian Pines Seminole Children
G. W. Romer Florida Art Project, WPA
Royal and Coconut Palms Flamingoes at Hialeah Race
G. W. Romer Track
Indian Creek, Miami Beach
Miami Beach News Service SnOWy Egret
William K. Vanderbilt Estate, s - A ~ Grimes
Fisher Island, Miami Beach Scene in the Everglades
Miami Daily News G. W. Romer
Seminole Doll Makers Birds in the Everglades
Florida Art Project, WPA Charles C. Ebbcts
Seminoles on Tamiami Canal
G. W. Romer
Between pages 60 and 61
Miami in the Making Outdoor Classes, University of
Dade County Courthouse, Miami G . w. Romer
Miami Daily News
Center of Miami Beach, Lin-
Biscayne Boulevard coin Road
Miami News Service ^ Q Merritt, Jr.
Miami Skyline at Night Ocean Promenade, Miami Beach
G. W. Romer Miami Beach News Service
Miami-Biltmore Hotel, Coral Ancient Mangrove Tree, Bis-
Gables cayne Bay
Miami News Service G. W . Romer
Between pages 92 and 93
Hooking a Sailfish in the Gulf Promenade, Hialeah Race Track
Stream Miami Daily News
Paddock, Hialeah Race Track
Charter Boats for Gulf Stream Farm security Administration
Outdoor Opera, Bayfront Park,
FlSh lr S ^ at ^ ier Miami
Miami News Service
Lummus Park and Beach, Mi- Between Halves, Orange Bowl,
ami Beach Mid-winter Football Game
Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Miami News Service
xii ILLUS RATIONS
Polo Game Aquaplaning with a Seaplane
Miami Beach News Service G. W. Romer
Salt Water Pool, Miami Beach "Flying Down to Rio"
Miami Beach News Service Pan American Photo Service
Ready for a Race, Greyhound Yacht Racing
Track Miami News Service
Miami News Service
Between pages 124 and 125
Municipal Docks, Miami Shipping Baby Chicks by Air to
Miami News Service South America
Yacht Basin, Miami Pan A " can Airways, inc.
Miami News Service A Dade County Tomato Field
Prize-Winning Orchids Raised Packing Tomatoes
in the Miami Area Miami News Service
G. w. Romer Cultivating Pineapples in Miami
A Papaya Plant Area
U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Department of Agriculture
Pan American Airways Base Avocados
and U.S. Coast Guard Station, Miami Dai y News
Dinner Key, Miami Farmers Market, Miami
Miami Aero Corporation U. S. Department of Agriculture
Office and Waiting Room, Pan Pastures Under the Palms, Mi-
American Airways ami Area
Pan American Photo Service
Between pages 156 and 157
Post Office, Miami Miami Beach Hotel
Miami Daily News Robert Delson
Miami Beach Residence, Brit- Miami Beach Post Office
ish Colonial Type Miami Daily News
Miami Residence, Stucco and A ^S^SSuZ
Miami News Service Residential Street, Coral Gables
Fountain, Coral Gables G w Romer
Miami Daily News A Miami Beach Estate
Administration Building, Opa G - w - Romer
A Miami Garden
G. W. Romer G ^ Romef
Church, Coconut Grove
G. W. Romer
Historical Map of Florida Page 2
Points of Interest, Miami, Florida Page 120
Miami, Miami Beach and Coral Gables Page 140
MIAMI GENERAL INFORMATION
RAILROAD STATIONS: Florida East Coast Rwy., 200 N.W. First
Ave;. Seaboard Air Line Rwy., 2206 N.W. Seventh Ave.
AIRPORTS: Pan American Airways, Inc., 2500 S. Bayshore Drive;
distance 5.5 miles, taxi fare $1.15; time 15 minutes; ticket office, 300
E. Flagler St.; bus from Columbus Hotel joe, 45 minutes before
each Pan American plane departure. Eastern Air Lines, airport 3 6th
St., Miami Springs, 7 miles from city, taxi fare $1.50; time 30 min
utes; ticket office, 38 Biscayne Blvd., bus from 38 Biscayne Blvd. 5oc,
30 minutes before each plane departure. National Airlines, Inc.,
Municipal Airport, Le Jeune Rd. and ii9th St.; distance 13 miles,
sedan leaves ticket office, 308 N.E. First St., 45 minutes before plane
time, fare $i. Goodyear Blimp, W. end County Causeway; rates
$3 per trip over city. Chalk s Flying Service, County Causeway;
Karl Voelter, Inc., Municipal Airport, Le Jeune Rd. and ii9th St.;
planes for charter, rates vary, dependent on trip.
BUS LINES: (Interstate) Florida Motor Lines Corp., Greyhound Bus
Lines, Tamiami Trailways, Union Bus Station, 275 N.E. First St., Pan
American Bus Lines Terminal, 53 N.E. ist St.
BUS TOURS: All parts of Greater Miami are covered by sightseeing
tours. Inquire Florida Motor Lines Corp.; Davis Sightseeing Packard
Sedans, 301 E. Flagler St.; Greyhound Sightseeing, 275 N.E. First
St.; Miami For Hire Cars, Inc., n N.E. 3rd Ave.; Florida Transpor
tation Co., N.E. Fifth St. at Biscayne Blvd.; Red Top Sightseeing
Bus, Biscayne Blvd. at E. Flagler St.
LOCAL BUSES: Miami Transit Co., Terminal at 51 S.E. First St.;
Dunn Bus Service, Inc., Terminal at S.W. First St. and Miami Ave.
Rates IDC within city limits; reasonable rates in zones outside city
limits. Transfers from bus to bus. To Miami Beach, ice. Terminal
at N.E. ist Ave. and Flagler St.
TAXIS: Prevailing rates I5C for first quarter mile, jc each additional
quarter mile. Downtown zoning system for taxi stands. For hire
and sightseeing automobiles available at bus stations and hotels.
JITNEYS: To Miami Beach, loc County Causeway and I5C Venetian
Causeway; terminal N.E. First St. at Miami Ave.
STREET CAR SERVICE: Miami Beach Railway operates all street
xiv GENERAL INFORMATION
cars in Greater Miami area. Quite inadequate especially in outlying
sections where 20 to 30 minute schedule is maintained. Fare 5C. No
through service, no transfer from bus to street car in Miami except
to N.W. Seventh St. bus from street car, additional fare $c.
STEAMSHIP LINES: Clyde-Mallory Steamship Co., Pier No. 2, foot
of N.E. loth St., to New York, Jacksonville, Galveston. Merchant
and Miners Transportation Co., Pier No. i, foot of N.E. I2th St.,
to Jacksonville, Savannah, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Bos
ton and Nassau. Saunders and Mader Steamship Agency, Terminal
Dock, to Nassau. Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Co., Pier No.
2, foot of N.E. roth St., to Key West and Havana. Moore & McCor-
mack, Pier No. 3, foot of N.E. Ninth St. (Limited passenger serv
ice) New Orleans, Galveston, Philadelphia, New York City.
PIERS: Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, 2540 S. Bayshore Drive; City
Yacht Basin, N.E. Third, Fourth and Fifth Sts. at Bayfront; Royal
Palm Docks, S.E. Second St. and Bay. Coconut Grove City Docks,
Aviation Ave. at Bay; 79th Street Causeway; Little River, numerous
private piers on Miami River.
TRAFFIC REGULATIONS: Person driving in Miami more than
30 days must obtain driver s license; semi-annual inspection of auto
mobiles is required. All accidents must be reported immediately to
police. Out-of-tate automobile licenses are good until expiration in
state where issued. If automobile owner is employed in Florida,
certificate and state license required immediately. Speed limit 20 miles
per hour in downtown zone, 30 miles elsewhere, throughout city, 35
miles on causeways. When entering an unmarked intersection, vehicle
on left shall yield right-of-way to vehicle on right. Trucks, wagons
or drays weighing with their load more than 1 1 /2 tons are prohibited
from using Biscayne Blvd. S. of N.E. 4/th St., provided, however, that
these vehicles will be permitted to cross the boulevard and will be
allowed to operate one block for the purpose of making deliveries. At
intersections, pedestrians are required to follow the lateral anad the
PARKING REGULATIONS: In the downtown zone, park-o-meters
have been installed E. and W. from Biscayne Blvd. to N.W. Second
Ave.; N. and S. from N.E. and N.W. Third Sts. to S.E. Second St.,
inclusive. Rates in some sections, 5C for each 30 minutes; in others,
5C for each 60 or 90 minutes. Parking lots, rates varying from ice
to 25C, are available in almost every block in the downtown section.
At S.E. Second Ave. and S.E. Second St., R. turn on red light is
allowed; at Biscayne Blvd. and N.E. Fifth St.; Biscayne Blvd. and
N.E. i 3 th St.; Biscayne Blvd. and N.E. i 5 th St.; N.E. i 3 th St. and
GENERAL INFORMATION xv
Bayshore Drive. Elsewhere in the city all turns are on the green light.
No turns are permitted for south-bound traffic on Miami Ave. at
N.W. First St., at Flagler St., and none on N.E. Second Ave. at
STREET ORDER AND NUMBERING: Flagler St., running E. and
W., bisects Miami Ave., running N. and S., thus dividing the city
into four sections. The section N. of Flagler St. and W. of Miami
Ave. is called the Northwest section; the section S. of Flagler St. and
W. of Miami Ave. is called the Southwest section. The section N.
of Flagler St. and E. of Miami Ave. is called the Northeast section;
the section S. of Flagler St. and E. of Miami Ave. is called the South
east section. Beginning at Flagler St., streets numbered in both direc
tions, with a First St. N. and S. of Flagler and successively in both
directions, Second St., Third St. and so on. Avenues are numbered
from Miami Ave. in both directions in like manner with First Ave.,
Second Ave. and so on. All streets and terraces run E. and W.; all
avenues, places and courts run N. and S. The principal streets in
the shopping district are: Flagler St., Miami Ave., N.E. and N.W.
First Sts.; N.E. and N.W. Second Sts.; S.E. and S.W. First Sts.; N.E.
and S.E. First Ave.; N.E. and S.E. Second Ave.
ACCOMMODATIONS: HOTELS: APARTMENTS: European and
American plan hotels; apartments and rooms from the most modest
to the most luxurious; homes of all sizes by the season; trailers and
tourist camps. Foreign and American food at prices to suit every
taste. Rates higher from December ist to April ist; unbelievably
low rest of year.
INFORMATION SERVICE: Miami Chamber of Commerce, 35
N.W. Second St.; Miami Civic Center, 35 N.W. Second St.; Trave
ler s Aid Society, 200 N.W. First Ave.; Miami Motor Club, 242 Bis-
cayne Blvd.; Greater Miami Free Information Bureau, 11806 Biscayne
Blvd.; American Automobile Association, 1331 Biscayne Blvd.; South
Florida Motor Club, 1331 Biscayne Blvd.
RADIO STATIONS: WQAM (1,000 W.); WIOD (1,000 W.).
AMUSEMENTS AND RECREATION: Twenty-four motion pic
ture theaters, four Negro; nearest beaches 3.5 miles to Miami Beach.
TENNIS: Public tennis courts are: Henderson Park (clay), N.W.
Third St. and Ninth Ave., 2oc day, 5oc night (illuminated) ; Moore
Park (clay), N.W. 36th St. and Seventh Ave., 2oc day; Biscayne
Park (paved), N.E. Second Ave. and 2oth St., free; Coconut Grove
Park, Loquat Ave. and Douglas St., free; Oak Ave. and Matilda St.,
free; Little River Park, N.W. 79th St. and First Ave., free; Wynwood
xvi GENERAL INFORMATION
Park (clay), N.W. First Ave. and 34th St., free; Highland Park
(clay), N.W. i8th St. and Tenth Ave., free.
GOLF: Miami Springs (municipal) Red Road in Miami Springs,
greens fee $i winter, 5oc summer, caddie fee $i, 18 holes. West
Flagler St. course at 37th Ave., greens fee $i winter, joe summer,
caddie fee $i, 18 holes; Miami Country Club, 1345 N.W. nth St.,
greens fee $i, caddie fee $i, monthly rate fees varying with privi
DIAMOND BALL: Central Field, illuminated, N.W. 2oth St. and
nth Ave.; Moore Park, illuminated, N. W. Seventh Ave. at 36th St.;
Miami Field, illuminated, N.W. Third to Fifth Sts., and I4th to i6th
Aves. Fees vary. Wynwood Park, N.W. First Ave. and 34th St.,
free; Highland Park, N.W. i8th St. and Tenth Ave., free.
BOWLING ALLEYS: Brunswick Bowling Center, 24 N.E. Second
St.; alleys at: 103 W. Flagler St.; 1329 N.E. Second Ave.; Biscayne
Blvd. and 7 9th St.; 24 N.E. Second St.; 39 N.W. First St.; N.W.
Seventh Ave. at 29th St. Per game: ijc, ducks; 2oc, tenpins. Spe
cial rates to League bowlers. Crescent Bowling Alleys, 2490 N.W.
Seventh Ave.; Lucky Strike Bowling Alley, 2975 S.W. Eighth St.;
Miami Recreation Bowling Center, Inc., 301 S. Miami Ave. Palace
Bowling Center, 2101 Miami Ave.; Buena Vista Bowling Alley, 135
N.E. 3 6th St.
BOXING ARENAS: Tuttle Arena, 35 S.E. Fourth St.; Miami A.C.,
1 3th St. and N.E. Second Ave.; Miami Field, N.W. i5th Ave. and
Third St.; nominal admission.
OTHER RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Miami Lummus Park,
N.W. Third St., and Third Ave., free shuffleboard courts, horseshoe
courts, bowling on the green, chess and checkers, dominoes, roque
and croquet, cards. In November dances begin at Miami Civic Cen
ter, 35 N.W. 2nd St. In December daily bridge parties begin at
Miami Civic Center. In February picnics, boat rides and beach parties,
arranged by Miami Civic Center. Open air Bible Class, 3:30 P.M.
every Sunday, Bayfront Park. Sightseeing boat trips Biscayne Bay
and Miami River from City Docks, N.E. Third St. and Bay, fare $i;
glass bottom boats to Marine Gardens in Bay and ocean, fare $i. Bay-
front Park, foot of E. Flagler St.; free band concerts tri-weekly dur
ing winter season; chess and checkers at club house.
Miami Anglers Club, 243 N.E. Fourth St.; headquarters for fishing
Home Towners Clubs at Miami Lummus Park, open daily.
GENERAL INFORMATION xvii
New Tourist Building, Miami Lummus Park; center of State Socie
ties and recreational activities.
Three Score and Ten Club, 150 S.E. First St.; open to all more than
70 years of age, open forum discussions each Tuesday morning, dances
each Saturday evening, admission to members ice. General admis
Weekly Community Sings: Little River, Wynwood Park, Coconut
Grove, Moore and Riverside Parks, dates announced.
Miami Riding Academy: 3277 N.W. 3 8th St., $i per hour, saddle
horses; North Miami Riding Academy, 13575 N.E. 6th Ave., fee
$i per hour with groom. DuPuis Dude Ranch, 3400 N.W. 62nd
St., fee $i per hour. Greynolds Park, Riding Academy, 5416 N.W.
1 2th Ave., fee $i per hour. Hialeah Riding Club, 67 W. Eighth St.,
Hialeah, fee $i per hour; Isaak Walton League, clubhouse, N.W.
Third St. and 43rd Ave., skeet and coursing, yearly fee, $3.
Peckaway Skeet and Trap Club, 3400 N.W. 54th St., skeet. Yearly
membership (by invitation only) $12. Gallery for shooting open
to public, $1.25 per round, target and shells included. Miami Civic
Center, 3 5 N.W. Second St., where special tourist activities are sched
Biscayne Kennel Club, N.E. Second Ave. and ii5th St., greyhound
racing nightly, except Sunday, December to April, admission 25C.
West Flagler Kennel Club at 37th Ave., greyhound racing nightly
except Sunday, December to April, admission 25C.
Jai-alai (Hi-li) games at Biscayne Fronton, 3500 N.W. 35th Ave.,
daily except Sunday, December to April, admission 25C.
Hialeah Park, 79th St. in Hialeah, horse racing, January to March,
general admission $1.35.
Midget Auto Racing, 6601 W. Flagler St., Tuesday, Thursday and
Saturday nights. Admission 25C.
CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS
All American Air Meet, Municipal Airport.
All States Card Club Annual Luncheon.
Annual Midwinter Amateur Golf Tournament, Miami Country Club.
Annual Sigma Chi Round-up sponsored by George Ade.
Beaux Arts Black and White Costume Ball.
Hispanic Institute, University of Miami.
Masquerade Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Metropolitan Miami Fishing Tournament, January-April.
Miami Yacht Club Sailing Regatta, Miramar Course off N.E.
Miami Open Golf Championship, Miami Springs Golf Course.
Orange Bowl Football Game, Roddey Burdine Stadium.
President s Birthday Ball.
Racing Program opens at Hialeah Park.
Recreational Contests, Miami Lummus Park.
Southeast Florida Tennis Championships, Henderson Park.
South Florida Shuffleboard Championships, Miami Lummus Park.
Annual Arts Exhibits and Artists High Noon Luncheon at Miami
Woman s Club.
Annual Dixie Amateur Golf Tournament, Miami Country Club.
Annual Frost-Bite Dinghy Races, sponsored by Biscayne Yacht
Club, S. Biscayne Bay off Coconut Grove.
Annual Glen Curtiss Trophy Golf Tournament, Miami Springs Golf
International Flower Show, Miami Civic Center.
Men s Handicap Golf Tournament, West Flagler Golf Course.
Miami-Nassau Yacht Race.
Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup Race.
South Florida Horse Shoe Championship, Miami Lummus Park.
Valentine Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Washington s Birthday Ball.
Annual Biscayne Bay Regatta between causeways.
Annual International $4,000 Four-Ball Golf Tourney, Miami Coun
Florida State Sailboat Championship.
$3,500 Greater Miami Fishing Tournament sponsored by 13 com
Masquerade Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Miami-St. Petersburg Yacht Race starting from Government Cut,
South Beach, sponsored by Biscayne Yacht Club.
xx ANNUAL EVENTS
St. Patrick s Day Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Tropical Park Racing re-opens.
Annual Pan American Day Pageant and Parade, Bayfront Park.
City Fishing Tournament, City Yacht Basin, Bayfront Park.
Miami Relay Olympics, Moore Park.
Annual May Breakfast, All States Club.
Annual Moore Park Play Day, N.W. 7th Ave. at 36th St.
Annual Pioneer Day Dinner and Bayfront Park Program.
Annual Flag Day Service, Bayfront Park.
Annual Royal Poinciana Festival.
Miami Annual Birthday Celebration.
All States Card Club Annual Birthday Party, Miami Civic Center.
Labor Day Celebration, Parade and Bayfront Park Program.
Grand Masquerade Hallowe en Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Miami Country Club Championship Golf Tournament.
Miami Yacht Club Sailing Regatta.
Navy Day Celebration, U.S. Naval Airport.
Armistice Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Football Festival Week, Roddey Burdine Stadium.
Isaak Walton League Annual Field Meet at Clubhouse.
Miami High vs. Outside Football Team, Roddey Burdine Stadium.
Thanksgiving Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Thanksgiving Concert, Bayfront Park.
Annual Miami Open $2,500 Golf Tourney, Miami Springs Country
Biscayne Kennel Club Opening.
B.P.O.E. Annual Memorial Service, Bayfront Park.
Christmas Eve Ball, Miami Civic Center.
Empty Stocking Fund Program, Bayfront Park.
Ice Sports Open at Coliseum.
Jai-alai Opening at Biscayne Fronton.
Miami High vs. Outstanding Northern High School Football Team,
Roddey Burdine Stadium.
Municipal Band Concert Opening, Bayfront Park.
Racing Program Opens at Tropical Park.
New Year s Eve Dance, Miami Civic Center.
Village Post Office Opens, Miami Lummus Park.
West Flagler Kennel Club Openings.
Winter Athletic Carnival.
MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY
COMPILED jiY onnEn or
BV7 BRIC R GEN L Z . TAYLOR,
principally fron thf surveys aaH nronnoiisaitevg
af/to Of/irrrs ,*, US Army
THE CITY OF MIAMI
MIAMI, renowned as a gay, metropolitan playground, is also a
quiet community of individual homes and gardens, and is
rapidly recovering from its spectacular, adolescent growth.
Before 1900 early settlers found the community clustered in a
narrow space between Biscayne Bay and a jungle wilderness. The
site of the Dade County Court House was a swamp inhabited by deer,
wild turkey, and quail. Development of the city was slow until the
decade that saw the World War, the popularity of automobiles, and
the building of good roads, when it grew from a town of 5,000 to
30,000. During the next ten years over 80,000 people became resi
dents of the city, and since 1930, 40,000 more have made the city
Due to the optimism of early builders, whose scattered subdivi
sions crowded close on the edges of the rapidly receding Everglades,
many areas within the city limits to the west and north are still un
developed. Wide stretches of vacant lots, overgrown with scrub
palmettos, give these outlying sections a ragged, straggling appearance.
However, the construction of modern landscaped avenues and new
homes is closing these gaps as the city rounds out its youth and enters
the years of its maturity.
To the east are the green-patched waters of Biscayne Bay and,
beyond, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is Miami Beach. Like a
slender thread stretching three miles across the bay is the traffic-
crowded County Causeway, one of three roadways connecting the
two cities. The Venetian Causeway is at the foot of i5th Street,
and farther north, the 79th Street Causeway reaches from the Little
River section of Miami to the Isle of Normandy.
Miami s port and harbor facilities extend along the Miami
River, which winds in a southeasterly direction through the city.
They also occupy the bay front from Brickell Point, at the mouth
of the river, northward to the steamship docks at i2th Street. Ad
jacent to the docks is the turning basin, accommodating all but the
largest ocean-going vessels, and the Government Cut, a steamship
channel paralleling the south side of the County Causeway.
Between the Royal Palm Docks and the City Yacht Basin is
Bayfront Park beyond whose tropical verdure rises the lofty skyline
of the downtown business section with its modern hotels, banks,
4 MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY
streamlined shops, and office buildings. Bordering upon this area, in
a broad loop, is a wide band of apartment buildings, rooming houses,
and smaller hotels, from which busy traffic arteries branch out into
the residential divisions of the city and nearby communities. The
business area, too crowded in the downtown limits, finds an outlet
into Flagler Street, which is lined by shops as far west as nth avenue.
The centralized character of the business area creates traffic
problems which the engineers who laid out the first narrow streets
could not have foreseen. Registered motor vehicles in Miami number
more than 80,000, and when out-of -state automobiles increase this
figure to approximately 200,000 during the peak of the tourist sea
son, the problems are further intensified. To relieve the increasing
congestion the city built new bridges across the river and widened
its streets. Palm-lined Biscayne Boulevard and Coral Way, its broad
lanes a long vista of banyan trees, offer easy access to the north
and southwest sections respectively.
The circle on Northeast i}th Street, where the traffic lines of the
County Causeway meet those of Biscayne Boulevard, presents a scene
of the city s restless activity. During a twelve-hour period 52,766
cars and trucks have been counted at this intersection. The traffic
peak is reached in late afternoon when during a one-hour period,
6,240 motor vehicles passed around the circle.
The residential sections, more densely populated in areas adjacent
to the bay, lie between a westward curve of the bay shore on the
south and 8/th Street on the north, and adjoin the limits of Coral
Gables at 37th Avenue on the west. Except for occasional apart
ment buildings, the residences are mostly one-story houses of frame,
or concrete block. The more expensive ones near or overlooking the
bay are usually two-story structures, some of which, especially those
along South Bayshore Drive and South Miami Avenue, are located
within walled estates. Flowers and shrubbery are abundant around
most houses, however humble or pretentious.
Miami s 30,000 Negroes are employed chiefly as servants and
manual workers, and their number is increased in winter months by
an influx of approximately 1,000 chauffeurs, domestic workers, and
hotel employees from other parts of the Nation.
The famed amusement facilities and bathing beaches of the
Miami area are not open to Negroes. Their popular diversions are
church entertainments and club activities, bolita and bingo gambling,
and the traditional fish fries.
Among the Negro population are more than 5,000 natives of
the Bahamas. These people retain many island customs and beliefs,
CITY OF MIAMI 5
and resent prejudice against the Negro race, which was less severe in
their homeland. They speak with a precise British accent, and differ
from Florida Negroes in cultural background. The majority were
brought to Miami during the World War to serve as laborers in nearby
The Negroes in Miami have become a pronounced social and
economic problem, to which the city s rapid growth has added an
ecological aspect. They reside in three restricted areas: one in Coco
nut Grove; one near the center of the city between Northwest
Seventh Avenue and the Flagler East Coast Railway; and the third,
known as Liberty Square built as a PWA project, on the north side
of Northwest 6 2nd Street near i/th Avenue.
The original area set aside for Negro residence lay west of the
railroad tracks on the edge of the town. As the city s population
increased this area was completely surrounded. Meanwhile the nar
row strip north of the business district lying between the railroad
and the docks on the bayfront was occupied by wholesale and small
manufacturing firms. As the city increased in size these firms were
without room for convenient expansion since the Negro settlement
covers the entire area west of the tracks adjacent to the wholesale
The Negro population likewise kept pace with the city s growth,
and their settlement, overcrowded for years, characterized by rows of
wretched shacks and worse living conditions, attended by unrest and
disease, finally became a subject of acid controversy. The conflict
became bitter when the Liberty Square Negro housing project was
proposed. Despite the protests of white residents and owners of land
in the vicinity, a 62-acre tract was acquired and 35 building units
containing 243 modern housing units were built. Under Negro man
agement this new settlement is a model of communal order and clean
liness. There is no active opposition against Liberty Square manifested
now, and it is generally conceded to be a fine project. However,
many of the white people in the neighborhood are making every effort
to dispose of their homes, and a number of second-hand stores and
junk dealers have moved into the vicinity.
The Latins and the Seminole Indians are relatively few in number
and have no great sociological influence. Though many of the Latins
live in a small area on the northern edge of the business district, and
retain some of their customs and traditions, they are readily as
similated. They experience little racial antipathy and find employ
ment in widely divergent lines of endeavor.
The Indians, except those exploited in villages in or close to the
6 MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY
city, live mostly in the back country and appear on the streets only
when they need supplies. Even those in the commercial villages
remain a people apart, making curios and sometimes guiding hunting
parties into the Everglades. They do not sell to tourists; their prod
ucts are sold in curio shops owned by white men but there are a few
places several miles from Miami on the Tamiami Trail where curios
may be bought from Indians at their camps. Although Miami draws
a cosmopolitan group of visitors, the bizarre, colorful costume of
these Indians rarely fails to excite interest.
The cultural background of Miami s population, which is drawn
from all states and many foreign nations, differs greatly among indi
viduals and groups. Clubs, societies, and kindred organizations make
special efforts to provide opportunities for their members to partici
pate in community life. Prominent among such agencies are the
churches, which number 131 in the white area and 59 in the Negro
section. Besides the national fraternal organizations, which are well
represented, there are numerous State clubs as well as philanthropic
and scientific societies.
While these organizations serve spiritual and social needs, the
fluctuating population intensifies economic problems that are the deep
concern of industrial, labor, philanthropic, and government relief
agencies. In autumn the van of incoming travelers includes many
whose stay in the city depends upon their employment. They come
in such numbers that local wages are often depressed to a substandard
level. Skilled labor has succeeded in securing the passage of city ordi
nances requiring occupational licenses for electricians, plumbers, car
penters, and painters, and is thus afforded a measure of protection,
but unorganized labor still suffers from this seasonal influx of workers.
In past years transient workers were rounded up by the police on
their arrival in Miami, carried in trucks to the county line, and ad
monished to seek employment elsewhere. This "hobo express," as it
was called, was later adopted and enforced along the northern borders
of the State in winter months.
Out of Miami s 170,000 population approximately 3,000 are
engaged in industry and business, while over 50,000 are employed in
other lines, chiefly in retailing. The city, although keenly interested
in the development of industry and agriculture in the surrounding
area, is still almost wholly dependent upon its tourists.
During the six-month period from October, 1937 to March,
1938, the city provided accommodations for 796,000 visitors from
other states. Housing facilities in Miami proper include 186 hotels,
978 apartment buildings, 1,157 rooming houses, numerous camp
cottages, and individual homes available for lease.
CITY OF MIAMI 7
In September the city begins preparations to receive its guests.
Hotels and restaurants, many of which close during the summer,
throw open their doors. Colorful souvenir bazaars offer Indian curios,
tropical shells and nuts, and cooling fruit juices, and smart shops
display newest vogues in dress and beach attire. By December the
city is thronged with health-seeking and pleasure-bent thousands.
For them Miami provides a wide variety of attractions. Bathers
line the 10 miles of beaches. Fishing in the bay and Gulf Stream
offers the angler anything from a two-ounce "grunt" to a two-ton
devil fish. Golf courses, tennis and shuffleboard courts are located in
many parts of the city, as are the parks and night clubs. In Miami
proper are 24 motion picture theatres with a seating capacity of over
25,000. Pari-mutuel betting is legalized at the jai-alai (hi-li) games,
the three dog tracks, and at the two racing meets held at Tropical
and Hialeah parks. During the 1937-1938 season pari-mutuel betting
totaled more than $44,000,000 and the attendance was approximately
1,000,000. Visitor expenditures in the greater Miami area are esti
mated at $60,000,000 annually.
Miami is too young to have figured in the founding of the
Nation, and has but few historic shrines and traditions. While the
city_may become increasingly important as a manufacturing and dis
tributing center as the back country is developed, its growth and
present popularity as a resort is due primarily to the energy and hos
pitality of its citizens, its salutary climate, and its advantageous
setting on the fringe of the tropics.
MIAMI, stretching for 15 miles along the shore of Biscayne
Bay on the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, lies in
approximately the same latitude as Calcutta, India, and the
hot, arid regions of the Sahara Desert, but its climate partakes of the
nature of neither of those places. As in other extended level areas,
the twilight interval is brief and night closes in abruptly. Through
out the year, average seasonal temperature changes in Miami are so
slight that the terms "winter" and "summer" have little significance
and these seasons, differentiated by the amount of their rainfall, are
more aptly called "rainy" and "dry." With these exceptions, Miami s
climate is without parallel among cities bordering on the tropics.
The average annual rainfall is 65.5 inches, three-fourths of which
falls during the rainy season extending from May through October.
At least half of this annual supply is absorbed by the soil to become
the chief source of the city s underground water supply. Most of
the precipitation comes in the form of sudden showers lasting from
a few minutes to an hour and usually confined to small areas having
sharply defined edges. The heaviest rains occur in early summer and
in the fall during the period of the equinoctial storms. During a
24-hour period, 15.10 inches of rain fell in Miami when a hurricane
swept from the lower west coast and passed off the upper east coast
in November 1935.
The tropical hurricane, a distinctive type of storm growing out
of unusual atmospheric conditions, is known to scientists as a thermo-
convective cyclone. In the Northern hemisphere most of these storms
occur during August, September and October and their destructive
effects are felt in the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and the
Because tropical hurricanes degenerate rapidly and lose their
characteristic form when they move inland, study of hurricane con
ditions is incomplete and little is known concerning their origin and
development. Recent meteorological observations indicate that they
may form anywhere above five to six degrees from the equator in
regions of light winds, abnormal temperatures, and a high atmospheric
moisture content. The first sign is a more or less clustered group of
thunderstorms characterized by slightly subnormal pressures. Near
the center of a large thunderstorm a vortex takes form, gains in size,
NATURAL SETTING 9
and, accompanied by excessive rains, gathers momentum until winds
of gale force are frequently reached.
The whirling wind is sucked toward the center of the vortex
where, warmed by condensation, it rises and flows out to be replaced
by moisture-laden air from outside the storm. It is this heat, liberated
near the center which maintains the structure of the hurricane.
The circular movement of the air attains, near the center, a
velocity that involves extremely low pressures. This creates a down
ward movement of air which forms an "eye," or clear zone in the
center. The eye, from five to 50 miles in diameter, is usually with
out clouds and within it, the air is calm.
Outside the clear zone, the winds, mounting to tremendous
speed, are accompanied by torrential rains that merge with the spume
blown from mountainous wave crests until, over hundreds of square
miles, the air is filled with driving water.
Once established, this storm system moves slowly, first west and
then northwest, after which, if it is not disturbed, it "recurves" to
the north and finally to a northeasterly direction apparently moving
around the westward side of the usual oceanic area of high pressure.
Variations in atmospheric conditions, however, tend to give these
storms erratic paths. For instance, a hurricane reaching the Gulf of
Mexico will not move eastward unless a low pressure trough over the
Atlantic States favors its recurvature.
If the hurricane moves inland, it encounters conditions unfavor
able for the maintenance of its structure. The increased friction
decreases its wind velocity, the moisture supply on which it depends
for energy becomes restricted, and consequently the eye fills up as
the wind system gradually collapses.
Since, during the past 60 years only one tropical hurricane of
major intensity reached Miami, that of September, 1926, these dis
turbances are counterbalanced by the equability of other climatic
The city, lying in the trade wind belt, is favored by an almost
constant breeze from the east. These prevailing winds, tempered as
they pass over the broad expanse of the nearby Gulf Stream, give
Miami an average temperature of 68 in winter and 82 in summer.
Extreme variations are so rare that heat prostrations are unknown.
Between 1930 and 1940 temperatures in excess of 90 have been
reached but five times.
The air, uncontaminated by gases, smoke, or dust, does not favor
the formation of fog. Such fogs as have been observed occur in the
10 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
early morning, averaging about two days a year, and are rapidly
dissipated by the rising sun. Coupled with the character of the pre
vailing showers, these conditions give Miami an unusual amount of
sunshine. Since 1895 there has been recorded an average of but six
sunless days a year.
Despite its favorable climate, the territory in the immediate
vicinity of Miami is not adapted for general agricultural development.
The whole area is located on a limestone formation, known as Miami
colite containing as much as 95% of calcium carbonate, which ex
tends from north of Broward County southward and southwestward
along the coast to Cape Sable and across the shallow water to the
Keys. Nowhere more than 25 feet above sea level, it contains many
swampy areas, known as glades, some of which extend into the Ever
Because of its porous nature, this rock is subject to the dissolving
action of water and has developed many curious formations. Arch
Creek, north of the city, flows under a natural bridge which forms
part of a highway. In another section, now covered by buildings,
construction gangs removed the sand for railroad ballast, revealing
an area honeycombed with vertical pits a foot or two in diameter.
West of the city are several large caverns containing numerous
This colite lies close to the surface and is frequently uncovered
in wide areas. It hardens when exposed and has been found satis
factory for road materials, building blocks, and as a source of
There is sufficient humus in the interstices to support considerable
vegetation as is evidenced by the numerous outcroppings dominated
by pines and wire grass. The pines are used locally for lumber and
fuel but not for turpentine. The wiregrass areas might be used for
grazing but the jagged rocky surfaces make this impossible.
South of Miami, in the Redlands section, these pine lands have
been cleared, the surface scarified, and planted principally to citrus
fruits. The lower ground toward the east has been drained and is
intensively cultivated, potatoes and tomatoes being the chief crops.
Water control has likewise made the rich, productive muck lands north
and northwest of the city available for diversified truck farming.
South and west of Miami in the Dade County section of the
Everglades is an almost inexhaustible supply of peat. It compares
favorably with that used for fuel in other parts of the world but
labor costs prohibit commercial production. At present it is used
principally as a filler for nitrogenous fertilizers. In prolonged dry
NATURAL SETTING 11
seasons it becomes easily ignited and thousands of acres of this valu
able material have been destroyed by fire as the result of carelessness
on the part of hunters or sightseers.
The Everglades, formerly a Seminole battleground and refuge
for rum-runner, black-birder, outlaw, and fugitive, has almost dis
appeared as the result of vast reclamation projects instituted by the
state and Federal governments. This whole section was once a wet
prairie, covering a strip 150 miles long and 55 miles wide, lying in a
basin between two rock ridges. In some places the water had cut
channels through these ridges but the fall was too slight for complete
drainage. Since the annual rainfall over this territory averaged over
five feet, and because it received the annual overflow from Lake
Okeechobee, most of it was covered with water for 12 months in
the year. Even in dry seasons the water was three feet deep in many
Scattered throughout this expanse of water were patches of higher
ground called "hammocks" that were dry at all seasons and whose
soil, being very productive, was gardened by the Indians. The lower,
inundated lands were overgrown with a rank, almost impenetrable,
growth of coarse grass having serrated edges from which it was named
A deposit of muck, rich in nitrogen content and enormously
productive especially as regards foliage crops, covers most of the
Everglades in a layer that varies from two feet in depth at the edges
to as much as 20 feet in the middle. Experiments show that with
proper drainage and fertilization these muck lands can be made suit
able for many crops.
Reclamation of these swamp lands has been based on drainage
systems of which the numerous canals in the vicinity of Miami are
a part. Lowering the water table has reduced much of the adjacent
territory to a desolate waste but not without benefit to the city. It
has not only wiped out the breeding places of salt-marsh mosquitoes
but the canals are navigable for small boats and provide anchorage
for the numerous cruisers, large and small, that are brought to the
city each season. The Miami and Comfort Canals, which are a con
tinuation of the forks of the Miami River; the Little River Canal,
an extension of Little River, also a natural waterway; and the Bis-
cayne, the Coral Gables, and the Tamiami Canals are part of a vast
network draining a back country that has been called "The Nation s
All the canals empty into Biscayne Bay, a small body of water,
approximately 40 miles long, which forms part of the connecting
12 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
water routes extending along the Atlantic coast from Boston, Mass.,
around the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and ending at Rio
Grande, Texas. This sheltered passage, approximately 3,000 miles in
length, is known as the Intracoastal Waterway. It had its beginning
in surveys made by George Washington in 1763 but the project did
not reach active development until 1911. The Norfolk-Key West
section was completed in 1936.
Long before the Christian era, scholars in India spoke of a
"Beam of Torture" or the "Beam of Crucifixion," referring to a con
stellation or cluster of stars arranged in the form of a Roman cross.
The poet Dante called this group the "consecrated stars." It be
came involved in romantic folklore, legends, and religion. It has been
credited with inspiring the Spanish and Portuguese to settle under its
influence. This brilliant constellation, the Southern Cross, is visible
in Miami during February, March and April. In the latitude of
Miami, 25 48 , it appears very low on the southern horizon and may
be observed from points as far north as latitude 27 degrees.
MIAMI S FRUITS AND FLOWERS
THE FLORA of the Miami region is essentially tropical in charac
ter but it includes many plants common to both the Middle and
South Atlantic States. From the Keys and Cape Sable to the
head of Biscayne Bay, the terrain is marked by a great diversity of
soils which gives rise to a large variety of plants and, at the same
time, sharply delineates the usual confines of the several plant associa
tions. These areas of local distribution of plant species are known as
"pinelands," "hammocks," and "Everglades." In addition, the waters
of Biscayne Bay and the dunes along the coast have a vegetation
that is peculiarly their own.
Palms, especially the coconut palm, are more widely planted in
Miami than any other tree. Its usually curved trunk is topped with
a rosette of leaves that bend outward and at the tips, abruptly down
ward. In trojpical America the coconut often grows to a height
of 100 feet, yields about 100 nuts a year, and supplies food, shelter,
and clothing. It is less important in the latitude of Miami where
its commercial use has been supplanted by its ornamental value.
The royal palm is another widely planted pinnate-leaved palm
that thrives only in the southern part of the state. Its gray, spindle-
shaped trunk, like a pillar of cement, is straight and topped by a
long, green, cylindrical, sheathing base for the leaves. Long lanes
of this stately tree line Biscayne Boulevard northward from Bay-
Another common tree belonging in this group is the Washing-
tonian or "petticoat" palm distinguished by a dense sheathing of dead
leaves hanging downward along its upper trunk.
Scattered widely over vacant lots throughout the city on dry
or pineland soils is the scrub palmetto. Although these dry soils are
frequently swept by fires, the underground stem of this palm protects
it against damage.
The Australian pine, widely planted in the past as an ornamental
tree, grows tall and plume-shaped. It may be pruned into almost
any shape for use in formal gardens, as in the old Royal Palm Hotel
gardens at Southeast Second Avenue and Second Street.
The native Caribbean pine, scattered over much of the unde
veloped lands in and about Miami, is distinguished by its rough,
branchless trunk and rounded but ragged looking top.
14 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Rows of young almond trees adorn both sides of Seventeenth
Avenue north of Miami River. The large leaves, growing close to
long slender branches radiating horizontally from the trunk, take on
a rich, red color in cool weather.
A baobab tree, (dansonia digttata} imported from Africa in
1912 stands in Columbia Park in front of the Miami Senior High
School. The trunk of this specimen is beginning to acquire the char
acteristic bulge for which it is noted in its native habitat. A rarity
in Florida, this tree, late in summer, bears huge creamy white blos
soms that are remarkable for their strange shape.
South of Miami River, Brickell Avenue as far as Fifteenth Road,
is lined with black olive trees, an importation from Jamaica. The
black olive is a rapid grower with small, dark-green leaves forming
a fine, round-topped tree something like the sugar maple. Older trees
of this variety border Lummus Park on Northwest Third Avenue
between Second and Third Streets.
Brickell Avenue, which extends southward to the James Deering
estate, was originally cut through a hammock covered with a dense
jungle growth. Many fine specimens of the gumbo limbo, the strangler
fig, and the live oak may be observed in this area.
The gumbo limbo, sometimes known as West Indian Birch, has
smooth copper-colored bark that may be peeled off in thin sheets.
Glue and varnish are obtained from the tree which also yields an
The strangling or strangler fig (ficus aura) , belonging to the
same genus as the edible fig and rubber trees, derives its name from
its peculiar habit of growth. It may start from a seed germinating
in the ground but, since the fruit is favored by birds, the seeds are
frequently lodged in the bark of some forest tree, often the cabbage
palm. In such cases the seed sends to the gound slender roots that
branch, grow, and merge with one another, until the trunk of its
host is completely encased and eventually killed. This fig, like the
wild banyan (altisima) seen along the newly landscaped Coral Way,
drops aerial roots that become props for the lower limbs. The leaves
of the fig are narrowed at the base; those of the wild banyan are
The majestic, wide-spreading live oak (quercus virginiana} fre
quently draped with Spanish moss, is the largest member of the beech
family and is usually confined to hammock lands. It is distinguished
from the smaller myrtle-leaved oak (quercus myrtifolia), which also
grows in hammocks, by its larger leaves and nuts.
South Miami Avenue, just west of Brickell Avenue, is lined on
both sides for a considerable distance with royal poinciana trees. In
June their spreading, umbrella-shaped tops are transformed into can-
MIAMI S FRUITS AND FLOWERS 15
opies of flaming scarlet blossoms. The center parkway of this avenue
is planted with Phoenix or date palms.
Near the James Deering estate on Miami Avenue is a planting of
Spanish bayonets. The plant has no trunk; the strong leaves are
clustered at the base, diverge, and terminate in sharp points. The
flowers, about three inches across, are borne on stems from three to
ten feet tall and apparently attract only one insect, the yucca moth.
This moth lays eggs in the capsule and crowds collected masses of
pollen into the stigma, thus fertilizing the ovules. The larva uses
a few of the seeds for food, spins a thread to the ground, enters the
pupa state, and emerges as a moth when the flower blooms again
the following year.
Among the climbing plants is the flame vine, a native of Brazil,
which is widely planted throughout the city and especially in Coral
Gables. Its light-green foliage and brilliant clusters of deep pink
flowers, appearing in early winter make it easily recognizable. Another
vine is the bougainvillea, a woody, thorny plant adapted for many
uses. The purple varieties, strong and dense of growth, lending
themselves to mass effects, are easily trained, and often used for
hedges. The red varieties, are more effective when trained against
a white background. They are frequently used to soften the effect
of barren wall areas, especially at Miami Beach. Other common
ornamental vines are the yellow allamanda and the thumbergia with
lavender-blue orchid- like flowers.
Of the shrubs, the hibiscus or rose mallow, is more widely planted
than any other excepting, possibly, the croton. Three varieties of
hibiscus are popular, the (H. rosa sinensis) being the most common.
This native of China is a vigorous shrub or small tree adapted for
hedges but is often planted singly. The petals are rose-red. A smaller
variety (H. Sabdariffa) has dark red flowers. The H. cannabinus,
more difficult to cultivate, has white or pink, sometimes darker colored
petals, that shade to purple at the base.
The croton, a shrub from one to six feet in height, is a member
of the spurge family, a group remarkable for its foliage rather than
its flowers. The leaves of the cultivated croton are generally green,
often splashed with brown, red, or yellow in varying shades. Rare
plants, especially new cuttings, sometimes have yellow leaves. One
plant may put forth leaves that are erect, broad, and wrinkled;
another may have smooth, drooping leaves that are less than a quarter
inch across. The "corkscrew" croton is marked by the twisting
habit of its leaves.
The plants of the spurge family, like the croton and the poin-
settia, often have a milky sap and yield a variety of products includ
ing edible fruits, medicines, poisons, and rubber. The cultivated
16 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
poinsettia, a woody plant with dark green leaves and scarlets bracts,
has a group of less conspicuous relatives sometimes called "wild poin-
settias," or "hypocrites." They are smaller plants that show the same
brilliantly colored bracts and may be found on pineland or in gardens.
Another common shrub is the oleander which sometimes reaches
a height of 30 feet or more and is found along boulevards and in
gardens everywhere. Collins Canal at Miami Beach is bordered with
oleanders having pink blossoms but other varieties show colors in
cluding white, rose, and red. A native of the Levant, the oleander
is a member of the dogbane family.
Many plants of this family are poisonous as the termination
"bane" indicates. The pink and the white periwinkle, growing un
noticed in back yards or vacant lots, belongs to this group. The
blue periwinkle of Europe, often planted in the North, is sometimes
called "the flower of death."
After the sun goes down, the small white blossoms of the night-
blooming jasmine, closely related to the well-known yellow jessamine,
send out a penetrating odor of cloying sweetness. This plant also
belongs to a family of poisonous plants. Its Asiatic cousin, strychnos
nux-vomica, yields strychnine and another supplies the virulent poison
for the arrows of savage hunters.
Among the commoner air plants is Spanish moss which, besides
softening the beauty of rugged live oaks, is the source of a "vegetable
hair" used to fill mattresses. Spanish moss is not a parasite. It has
no roots but takes its food from rain and air by means of hairlike
structures. It belongs to the pineapple family as do also the wild
pines which, having clustered leaves, are more characteristic of the
cultivated pineapple. The leaves, at their bases, catch rainwater and
dust on which the plant feeds.
The phlox, petunia, marigold, sweet pea, and a host of other
flowers that flourish in the North in June, bloom in Miami during
the winter months. These annuals of the temperate zone are really
the exotics of this tropical area but they may be successfully grown
by careful tending.
Miami is the meeting place of the plant zones. Southward ex
tends a country that, in its natural state, becomes increasingly tropical
in types of vegetation. The Everglades has a flora that is peculiarly
its own and northward the plant life changes to that of the south-
Although most of the rainfall occurs during the summer, there
is sufficient precipitation together with a relatively warm temperature
during the winter to remove seasonal habits and extend the growing
and flowering time throughout the year.
FAUNA OF DADE COUNTY
THE ZONE of Florida fauna begins in the Everglades west of
Miami and occupies the remainder of the peninsula, while the
mainland, or north Florida, lies in the zone of Louisiana fauna.
What is designated as the tropical life zone is contained in a narrow
strip of land extending from Jupiter southward along the lower east
coast, including only a small portion of the Everglades and lower
Much of the tropical zone is coastal land or low, marshy ground
in which water birds abound. Besides the gulls and active little sand
pipers, the most common water birds are the brown pelicans. Their
nearest breeding places are Cape Sable and Brevard Island.
The flamingo, vermilion scarlet in color, with a wingspread of
five feet, once common in Southern Florida, is seldom seen out of
Dr. J. B. Holder, author of Along the Florida Reef (1871),
observed many "snake birds" on his trip to this area, which dived
and disappeared when approached. He decided that they plunged to
the bottom where they grasped weeds to hold themselves under until
danger had passed. These strange birds, known as water turkey,
snake bird, and American darter, swim with their bodies submerged,
only the long slender neck and serpentine head showing. The plumage
of the male is a glossy greenish black, with its broad tail tipped with
pale brown. The female has much the same coloring, but her head,
neck, and breast are grayish buff. They are seen perching in low
trees or bushes overhanging the water from which they feed.
The egrets, now rigidly protected, are becoming more plentiful.
The "aigrettes" for which they were hunted are long white plumes
resembling spun glass, that grow out from the bird s back during
nesting season. Their gregarious habits make them easy prey for
hunters but their slaughter left the young birds to die.
Egrets, herons, and cranes inhabit the swamps and edges of the
canal along the Tamiami Trail. With them in the Everglades is the
ibis, held by the ancient Egyptians as sacred to Thoth, god of wisdom.
Wild turkey and quail are found in the Everglades, but the crow
and vulture are much more common.
Wild hogs, once common to the prairies, are said to have been
descended from animals imported by Spanish exploring parties. When
President-elect Herbert Hoover visited Brighton, to receive a delega-
18 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
tion of Indians from the near-by reservation, the braves alone ap
peared. Their leader apologetically explained that wild hogs had been
reported that morning and the women could not resist the opportunity
to secure fresh pork for their tables.
There are no land animals or birds in Florida today, that have
any great commercial value. They are preserved or protected either
for sentiment, for study, or for sport, and for the less tangible eco
nomic value arising from the benefits obtained through a balanced
Although some forms of animal life are becoming scarce, the
deeper Everglades is still a paradise for hunters. In October, 1933,
William T. Belvin, former preacher and boilermaker of Fort Myers,
returned from an exile in the Florida wilds where he voluntarily spent
a year to prove that it was possible, even in these days, to live in
primitive fashion. Belvin, who took with him neither clothes, tools,
nor weapons, lived on fish and wild game which are the main foods
of the Indians who now inhabit these same wilds.
Only two species of alligator are known to exist in the world.
One is found in the region of the Yangtze Kiang River in China
and the other in southeastern United States. The American species
are thick, dark brown or black, sluggish animals that favor fresh
water and spend much of their time basking in the sun on open banks
or on logs. They grow to a length of 16 feet but specimens over 12
feet are now rare. Like most wild animals they recognize man as an
enemy and, when approached, will attempt concealment by hiding
in holes or "caves" which they dig in or near the water. They are
not noisy except during the breeding season when the male utters
a roar that may be heard a mile away. The female builds a crude
nest six to eight feet in diameter, lays 20 to 40 eggs, and covers them
deeply with vegetation that ferments and liberates heat which hatches
the eggs after two months. The emerging young, about eight inches
long, are usually taken for disposal to tourists but most of them die
from want of proper care. In the Everglades they add nearly a foot
to their length the first year. By the fifth year they average about
six feet and weigh approximately 70 pounds.
The crocodile inhabits the salt marshes of southern Florida and
is a vicious animal that will often move to attack instead of hiding
as does the alligator. The more active crocodile is grayish in color
and has a triangular head with a pointed snout. It is the largest
survivor of the reptile age.
Another survivor of life that swarmed in ancient oceans millions
of years ago is the garfish or Everglades pike that throngs the waters
of the Miami River and nearby canals. Like the reptiles, the verte-
FAUNA OF D A D E COUNTY 19
brae of the gar have ball and socket joints and the head moves on its
neck independently of the body. The scales, so hard that fire may
be struck from them with a piece of steel, form a veritable armor.
These scales do not overlap but are laid side by side like metal plates
and are fastened to each other with a system of hooks. It is said that
pioneers used gar skin to cover wooden plows and that the savage
Caribs, when they went to war, used this armor for breastplates.
The third staple of Indian diet, the gopher, is a land tortoise
which, being composed mostly of shell and digestive organs, is little
more appetizing than the gar. The shell of a full-grown gopher is
1 8 inches long but the Seminoles hunt them so assiduously that
smaller specimens are the rule. They are found in dry, forested
elevations where they excavate large burrows in the ground. In the
vicinity of Miami, where the limestone rock lies very close to the
surface, the gophers are adept at finding pot holes, or "sand seeps,"
in which they dig their underground homes. Numerous beetles,
crickets, and even toads share these underground chambers which are
often 20 feet long and reach a depth of eight or nine feet. The
gopher burrow may be recognized by a low mound, a foot or more
higher than the surrounding land, and extending to a diameter of
10 or 15 feet.
The banks of the Miami and adjoining canals still abound in
snakes which are hunted both for their skins and for medicinal pur
poses. Only three poisonous snakes are known, the coral snake, the
diamondback rattler, and the moccasin.
The moccasin, or cotton mouth, rarely found far from the
water s edge, is a stout snake, about four feet long at maturity.
When striking, its widely opened mouth shows cottony white. The
body is a dark copperish brown and its lips usually marked with white.
It is frequently found on a log or in a low bush, hanging over the
water, ready to drop on some fish which it pursues under water with
The coral snake, its body covered with brilliant rings of yellow,
black and crimson, is smaller and although one of the deadliest, is
generally less dangerous because its fangs are shorter and it cannot
strike so deeply.
Although game is less plentiful than it once was there are still
deer, quail, and turkey for the sportsman. Bears climb and tear
the tops out of palmettos to get at the tender cabbage. Indians trap
muskrat, mink, otter, and raccoon for their fur. Panthers, which
inhabit the desolate wastes, are rarely seen and still less often hunted.
The lowly possum, also found in the Everglades, is the only North
American animal that carries its young in a pouch.
20 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
Still less conspicuous than the game are the great land snails
and their close cousins, the arboreal species that live in dense ham
mocks where shade, concealment, moisture, and abundance of food are
favorable for their existence. They are rarely found in pinelands due,
perhaps, to the frequent fires that sweep these areas. The common
arboreal snail has a white shell marked with brown but the colors
and patterns vary widely. In size the shell measures from one to
one and one-half inches in diameter and up to two and one-half
inches in length.
Within the city limits along the bayshore two species of crabs
are encountered. The little fiddler crabs swarm in backwater mud
flats where odorous, decaying vegetation provides food. Their name
is derived from the peculiar motion which the male makes with his
one large arm when threatened or disturbed.
The larger West Indian land crabs found from West Palm Beach
to Cape Sable, are more annoying and destructive. Their wide-
mouthed burrows and their attacks on tender plants make them a
nuisance to gardeners. Automobiles kill thousands of them on hard-
surfaced coastal roads every year and sometimes these casualties mean
trouble for the motorist. One claw is greatly developed and sharp
enough to puncture a tire. In a fight with another crab this great
claw may be wrenched from the body without much harm but the
slightest damage to its shell means death. They have been known to
steal articles of clothing that unwary bathers leave on shore, even
extending their efforts to shorts and shoes which they attempt to
pull into their holes. In September, during what is believed to be
the mating season, they leave their burrows in swarms and go on a
wild, noisy spree, taking possession of yards and porches, clumsily
clambering up walls, and filling the night with an everlasting clatter.
Sometimes the waves wash ashore the iridescent violet or blue
inflated sac of the Portuguese man-of-war, a common marine animal
that is often annoying to bathers. It resembles an elongated soap
bubble topped with a crest which acts as a sail. Attached to the
sac are a number of organs and tentacles, streamers often 40 or 50
feet long, some of which are provided with stinging or lasso cells
that inflict severe pain when contacted.
The Florida manatee, or sea cow, which attains a weight of
2,000 pounds, grazes on grass growing in shallow lagoons and estu
aries along the coast. The rear limbs are missing and the fore limbs
are broad flappers. Its skin is bare, except for scattered hairs while
the muzzle is covered with bristles. Nursing mothers rise to the
surface and, head and shoulders above water, hold the young manatee
to their breasts in an almost human fashion.
FAUNA OF BADE COUNTY 21
Even the soil produces strange fauna. Captain Charles J. Rose,
one of Miami s oldest pioneers, possesses a large copper kettle inlaid
with gold, product of the Aztecs or Spanish artizans, which was com
pletely imbedded in rock blasted from a canal bed near the mouth
of the Miami River. This rock, sometimes known as "ojus," is the
same as that which underlies all the Miami area and is formed from
the calcareous secretion of marine zoophytes or corals. These minute
organisms build continuously and, over a period of years, their work
is readily noticed. A one-inch specimen placed under water by Dr.
J. B. Holder, doubled in size in a year s time. The same writer
observed that branch corals sometimes grew five or six inches in one
Three small animals, the five-lined skink, the scorpion, and the
chameleon, are common to yards and gardens throughout the city.
The Cuban and Jamaican chameleon often reach a length of 16 inches
but ours rarely exceed six inches. These slender lizards, noted for
their rapid color changes, live on insects and drink dew. Changes
in color are due to changes in light, emotion, and temperature. On
cool days they are usually a dull gray, on warm days a golden green.
Exposure to direct sunlight induces a dull black but in darkness they
take on a cream color. Fright tends to produce lighter shades, while
anger deepens the hue of lighter areas.
Young skinks are marked by five longitudinal stripes and a tail
of brilliant blue. These lizards are harmless, active, and difficult to
capture. The female becomes brownish at maturity and reaches a
length of seven inches. The male attains a length of 10 inches and
acquires a head of blazing red.
In the tropics, the scorpion s sting is sometimes fatal but the
scorpions found in the United States are not dangerous except to
children when their sting may cause vomiting and convulsion. This
crab-like creature, black or gray in color, has a long, segmented tail
tipped with a slender, curved sting. When alarmed the tail is curved
over its back and the sting points forward in a threatening manner.
The poison has a paralyzing effect.
Another common resident in the garden shrubbery is the Florida
cardinal, often called the redbird. The crested head and underparts
of the male are deep vermilion; the female is rusty brown.
The Florida blue jay is a crested bird found in central and south
ern Florida. It is slightly smaller than the southern blue jay and the
upper plumage, suffused with gray, has a less purplish cast. It has
all the bad habits of the southern blue jay but is less wary and can
be trained to eat from one s hand. A noncrested bird, the Florida
jay, or "scrub" jay, is found in scrub lands and sand-pine areas. Its
22 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
nape, rump, and wings are blue and it is easily recognized by its
longer tail. The scrub jay is more of a songster than the Florida
jay and is generally less noisy.
The mockingbird is soberly dressed but its cheery, rollicking
song is the most prominent and best loved of southern birds. It is
silent most of the fall and early winter but from January onward its
persistent medley of calls, often interspersed with imitations of other
birds, make it easy to recognize. So great are its powers of imitation
that birds kept in captivity have been known to mimic cats, dogs,
and chickens. Morning is its favorite time for singing but it often
wakes at night when the moon is bright to pour a cascade of silvery
notes into the starry silence.
Recognizing the beauty of its song, the Senate designated the
mocking bird as the State Bird of Florida by a resolution passed April
23, 1927. Evidence pointing to a weakness in character has been
gathered by the late Dr. Charles T. Simpson, noted author and student
of wild life who observed mockingbirds become intoxicated when
they eat berries of a plant bearing the name, solanum seaforthianum.
Inroads of civilization and drainage of the Everglades have
greatly reduced the abundance of all kinds of animal life in Dade
County. Alligators have been hunted relentlessly. The flamingo,
once common, is now rarely seen except in captivity. In 1892 one
man reported that he had shipped 130,000 birds out of the state for
millinery purposes. Birds were hunted to such an extent that a
colony of hunters, located on the Keys, won the name of "Redbird
City." Many birds, such as the egret, barely escaped the fate of the
The enactment of game laws and the work of the National
Association of Audubon Societies resulted in the preservation of these
birds and other forms of animal life. The Florida Federation of
Women s Clubs secured the establishment of Royal Palm State Park,
a sanctuary of 1,920 acres in Dade County.
AT THE time that white men began exploring and colonizing
Florida, the state was occupied by a number of Indian tribes
somewhat closely related but speaking different dialects. Though
living in villages, they were somewhat nomadic, due perhaps to occa
sional floods or to seasonal journeys for food. Their diet consisted
mostly of fish and game supplemented by fruits and vegetables. Being
a "canoe" people, most of their villages were located near bodies of
water as is evidenced by the large number of mounds found along
the Gulf and the Atlantic coasts as well as the streams and lakes in
the interior of the state.
Study of these mounds reveals that the peninsula was divided
into two archeological areas. Tribes of Timucuan stock held that
part lying north of Lake Okeechobee while the Calusas dominated
the southern end of the state, part of the east coast, and the Florida
Keys. It is probable that the Calusas had some contact with the
people of the West Indies but all the prehistoric sites in this area are
related to those of the Indians occupying the Southeastern States and
it is believed that these early inhabitants came into the peninsula from
the mainland rather than from the islands.
Some of the mounds examined are stratified showing several
layers of sand, muck, marl, or stone containing definite evidence of
successive periods of habitation. Yet, except for articles of European
manufacture, even the largest of these mounds show but very few
cultural changes from bottom to top, indicating that the migration
of Indians to the peninsula took place at so late a date that there
was no time for marked cultural changes to develop.
No great age can be attributed to any human remains thus far
found in Florida. While it is true that many of the skeletons taken
from Calusa mounds are fossilized and embedded in stone, numerous
articles of European manufacture are likewise found with them. In
spite of the fact that some remains have been found on sites as much
at three feet below tidewater, archeologists are unwilling to admit
that any people lived here more than a few centuries before white men
appeared on the scene.
A large number of skeletons were removed from a mound at the
mouth of the Miami River when that location was cleared for the
erection of the old Royal Palm Hotel. As the east coast was developed
24 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
many other mounds were destroyed when contractors drew sand and
shell from them for building purposes.
It was not until 1933 that an extensive archeological project
was launched in Dade County. In 1934 over 3,000 specimens of
burial materials were taken from mounds at Miami Beach and Opa-
Locka and removed to the Smithsonian Institution for study.
Practically all the skeletal material was badly decayed and its
preservation presented a great deal of difficulty. Most of the bones
were so soft that they could be crumbled in one s fingers. The smaller
bones and teeth were generally missing. Among the articles most
frequently found were bone pins, celts of shells, some having a very
keen edge, and egg-shaped plummets that were encircled by a shallow
Fragments of pottery, showing a basketweave design, were
found in the Miami Beach mound. Some authorities believe that the
decorations were stamped on the clay with a wooden paddle before
drying while others suggest that the Indians first plaited baskets of
palmetto leaves and daubed the inside with clay. When fired, the
basket would be burned leaving its design on the hardened clay.
Pottery making was a poorly developed art due, for the most part,
to the absence of suitable clay.
Stone was likewise lacking and such few stone articles as were
found are believed to have been obtained by trading with tribes to
the north. Most of the weapons unearthed were of shell or bone.
While it is known that these tribes used bows and arrows, no
specimens were found. Such items, including spear handles, remains
of houses and articles of dress, are rapidly decomposed by bacterial
action in the soil and all traces of them have been lost.
The only written information concerning the habits and customs
of the Calusa Indians is found in the incomplete and conflicting
reports of early travellers and explorers who visited this section.
Escalante de Fontanedo, the only survivor of a Spanish vessel
wrecked on the Florida Keys in 1545, was the first white man to
spend any time in south Florida. During the 17 years of his captivity
among the Calusas he was permitted to explore the peninsula and
visit the camps of various tribes.
At that time, the Florida Keys were known as the Martyres.
Fontanedo mentions two towns, Guarugunve and Cuchiyaga, which
were located on these islands. The first name means the "town of
weeping" and the second, the "place where there has been suffering."
The islands have tentatively been identified as Matecumbe and Indian
Key but other keys also show signs of early habitation.
The Indian men wore no clothing except a breechcloth of woven
EARLY INHABITANTS 25
palm while the women covered themselves with Spanish moss which
Fontanedo described as "certain weeds that grow on trees."
Their common food was fish, lobster or crayfish, turtle, and
snail. Flesh of the "sea-wolf" was reserved for the food of chiefs and
nobility for those Indians recognized a higher and a lower class though
particulars are lacking. Deer were plentiful as were also raccoons
which fed on fish and oysters along the coast. On these inhabited
islands, fruits of many kinds were likewise abundant.
The territory of Carlos, word signifying a fierce people, lay on
the lower west coast and mention of this tribe first appears in the
journal of Ponce de Leon in connection with his early expeditions.
These Indians, noted for their bravery and skill in war, controlled the
Calusa federation occupying a region extending northeastward to a
town called Guacata on Lake Mayaimi in the interior. They also ap
parently dominated several tribes situated on the middle East Coast.
Fontanedo related that the Indians of Cuba had a superstition re
garding a mythical river in Florida, the Jordan, that was supposed to
restore youth to those who bathed in it. A long time before his cap
tivity, many Indians from Cuba came to Florida in search of the river.
They were subjugated by King Senquene, father of Carlos, and their
descendants still lived under the son Carlos, who, during Fontanedo s
captivity, was chief of the Calusas. The legend spread until all the
Indians came to believe that the Jordan actually did exist and there re
mained no river, brook, or lake in the whole land in which they did
The Tequesta, branch had several towns on Biscayne Bay and a
few on the banks of the Miami River said to issue from a lake described
as an arm of Lake Mayaimi. Buckingham Smith, American historian
and philologist, identifies this second lake as the O-ki-cho-bi, "big
water," of the Hitchitis, and the "we-wa thlok-ko" of the Muscogees,
Indian people who later came into the peninsula.
The rocky ridge along] Biscayne Bay was bordered on the west
by a vast inland basin extending westward and northward to these
lakes. In reality, the whole region was, for the most part of the year,
one great body of water covered with a dense growth of man-high
sawgrass. Hammocks, rising like low islands here and there on this
water-filled prairie, were visited regularly by the Indians when they
sought certain roots from which they made a bread. These roots,
known today as "coontie" were a food staple but the Indians preferred
game and fish rather than fruits and vegetables.
From the falls of the Miami River, a series of rock ledges forming
rapids at the western rim of the colitic ridge, to Lake Okeechobee
were a number of Indian towns located on the higher hammocks and
26 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
on the shores of the lake. The inhabitants, including the Tesquestas,
paid tribute to Carlos in the form of food, skins, and other articles.
Dade County, until 1900, extended along the east coast to the
northern end of Lake Okeechobee. It included Jupiter Inlet, the land
of the Jaega, where Jonathan Dickenson with his family, was wrecked
in the year 1696. Fontanedo does not say that these Indians were of
the Calusa federation but it is known that the area about Belle Glade
was occupied by the latter and from the description given by Dicken
son there was no material difference in their culture.
Studying the works of previous writers, the archaeologist, Daniel
G. Brinton, concluded that the Tequestas were an independent nation
extending their domination northward along the east coast to Cape
Canaveral, land of the Ais. However, about the year 1553 some ships
of a Spanish fleet were wrecked on the coast near this cape and, al
though discovered by the Ais, Fontanedo relates that jewelry and bars
of silver and gold were divided by Carlos among the chiefs of Ais,
Jaega, Guacata, and others. If the Calusas or the Tequestas did rule
these coastal peoples, their influence died shortly after Pedro Menendez
de Aviles, founder of St. Augustine, called an Indian council together
near Cape Canaveral in 1566. From that year, when 1,500 Indians
gathered to hear the Spanish leader, the Ais and nearby tribes were in
continual difficulties. For more than 150 years they were harried by
wars and disease and in 1728 they disappeared from historical records.
The fate of the Tequestas is even less certain. Menendez, who
was introduced to Chief Tequesta by the Ais, built a fort at the town
of Tequesta in 1567 leaving a priest and 30 soldiers at the settlement.
In 1568 the Spaniards accidentally killed an uncle of the chief who
then burned the settlement and fled to the Everglades. The Indians
returned to attack the garrison but most of the soldiers escaped and
retreated to St. Augustine.
When Menendez left Biscayne Bay, he took with him for religious
training, Tequesta s brother and two subchiefs. The chief s brother
was returned to his village late in 1568 and friendship with the Span
ish was renewed. During the same year the Jesuits erected another
mission at Tequesta. The subsequent fate of these missions is unknown.
During the years that followed, the name Tequesta disappeared.
When the Jesuits again established a mission San Ignacio, at what is
now Coconut Grove, in 1743, they wrote of the Miami River as the
Rio de Ratones, "River of Rats," and the Indians as the Miamias. On
their arrival, the Fathers learned that the Santaluces, a people to the
north, were preparing to sacrifice a child to cement a bond of peace
lately established between these two tribes, and hurrying to the place
of ceremony, persuaded the savages to abandon the ritual.
EARLY INHABITANTS 27
According to one Lopez de Velasco, when a Tequesta chief died
the largest bones were removed from his body and placed in a box for
adoration by his bereaved subjects. At the time of burial all his
servants were put to death. The death of a chief s son was likewise
marked by human sacrifice.
What happened to the Tequestas is a matter of conjecture. Father
F. X. Alegre, speaking of the Martyres, says that in 1743 these islands
were inhabited by Indians having Calusa and Tequesta ancestors. Be
ginning in 1703, the constant pressure imposed by invading Creek In
dians and other northern tribes, who! were pressed southward by the
English, and the declining power of the Spanish combined to drive
the Timucuans down the peninsula forcing the few remaining Calusas
and Tequestas to the Islands. In 1763 the last remnants of this fed
eration, about 80 families, were removed to Havana under the pro
tection of Spain.
The invading Creeks, who later came to be called Seminoles, in
Florida, were a group of small or vagrant tribes many of whom were
brought into Florida by English governors when they attacked Span
ish settlements. They absorbed most of the Yemassee and Uchee tribes
who were loosely united with the Apalachicolas in north Florida.
The Creeks gradually became the more numerous and their lan
guage predominated to such extent that the Seminole dialect does
not differ greatly from the Creek and today most of the Indian geo
graphic names in Florida are of Creek or Seminole-Creek origin.
Florida Indians became a border people clinging desperately to
game lands which were rapidly disappearing on the fronts of colonized
areas. Their wilderness strongholds became a refuge for escaped slaves
whom they held in bondage. They became involved in numerous dif
ficulties as slave owners and unprincipled men joined in wresting from
them these slaves and, later, the descendants of such slaves. When
Florida, became a United States possession it was estimated that the
Seminoles numbered 5,000, most of whom were captured and sent
to western reservations during the Seminole War. At the close of the
war probably not more than 100 men were left alive in the Glades.
SEMINOLES, PAST AND PRESENT
THE Seminole Indians found in Florida today are descendants of
the Creeks and other closely allied tribes who united with fugi
tive Negro slaves from the early English and Spanish colonies,
and, driven southward by warfare, eventually absorbed the straggling
Indian groups that remained in south Florida. These Indians live in
the southern part of the peninsula and are scattered over eight coun
ties: Dade, Monroe, Collier, Broward, Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee,
and St. Lucie.
They are officially listed as the remnant group of the Seminole
tribe. In 1832 the United States government began its efforts to
transfer the Florida Indians to reservations established west of the
Mississippi River. These efforts precipitated the Seminole War and
while several treaties were negotiated with the Indians during that
war it is apparent that the signatories on one side were without author
ity, and many Indians, despite the treaties, objected to removal and
successfully evaded capture.
When it was evident that the spirit of these remaining Indians
was broken, the government withdrew the army. No treaty with
them or their offspring has ever been signed and the Seminoles of to
day are, strictly speaking, ""neither citizens nor legal wards of the
government. The state constitution of 1868, Article XVI, gave the
Seminoles the right to elect one of their number as a member of each
house of legislature, but in the constitution of 1895 they were not
mentioned. The Florida Indian is not regarded as a citizen of this
state despite the fourteenth amendment and a court decision support
ing the Indian s right to citizenship. They are not assessed for taxes.
The state issues a special automobile license free to those who live on
Attendant upon the state s increasing population and opening of
homestead lands to new settlers, the government from time to time
set aside certain state lands as Indian reservations under the jurisdiction
of the Seminole Indian Agency at Dania, Florida. In 1936 these were:
2,613 acres in northeastern Glades County; 2,200 acres in west central
Martin County; 23,040 acres in southwestern Hendry County; 960
*Amendment of U. S. Constitution XIV, Sec. I ; Title 8, Sec. 2-3, Acts
of Congress 1924 "All Indians born in the United States are declared
to be citizens of the United States."
Road Along the Bai
Royal and Coconut Palms
Indian Creek, Miami Beach
William K. Vanderbilt Estate, Fisher Island
Seminole Doll Makers
Seminoles on Tamiami Canal
Seminole Indian Camp
Flamingoes at Hialeah Race Track
Scene in the Everglades
Birds in the Everglades (Copyrighted)
SEMINOLES, PAST AND PRESENT 29
acres in east central Collier County; 475 acres in Broward County;
and 99,200 acres in southwestern Monroe County.
None of the reservation land has been divided into individual al
lotments, for while a few families desire small garden plots the In
dians make but little use of their land, moving about from place to
place as fancy wills. Their property is being held until such time as
they decide to make use of it, and is not available for other use. There
are no accommodations for visitors on any of the reservations.
The nomadic habits of the Indians and their aversion to leaving
old haunts has hampered the development of work on the several reser
vations. Scattered over an area approximately 130 miles wide by 200
miles long, the Indians continue to live in the midst of desolate, in
accessible swamps. In number about 600, they are found in small
groups or camps throughout the whole area.
Although they have much in common, including their tribal
name, they speak two dialects. One part, about 200 in all, called the
Muskogee or Okeechobee Indians, live in the areas north and east of
Lake Okeechobee. The others, who inhabit the Big Cypress swamps
and regions south and west of the lake are known locally as Mic-
cosukies or Big Cypress. These are the Indians whose colorful cos
tumes are seen in and about Miami. The Okeechobee Indians dress in
much the same manner but because the majority have adopted the
white man s garments, their attire is generally more sober, blues and
Although a few live in commercialized communities close to
cities or well traveled highways, most of the Indians still prefer their
old hunting grounds in the midst of the swamps. Due to vast drain
age improvements covering most of the Everglades and to the in
roads of white hunters, wild game is scarce and the Indians eke out
an existence under wretched conditions.
The silk-shirted, pompadoured Indian of the commercial village,
though retaining the habits and customs of his people, is not the
Seminole of the hammock lands deep in the Big Cypress or sawgrass
regions. The typical Indian camp lies far beyond the trail marked by
the narrow dirt roads that branch off the highways and end in a world
of prairie marshes. In this wilderness, too unproductive to attract
white men, the Indian builds his "cheekee" and makes his living.
Building a cheekee, even with the tools he has been able to buy,
is a long and arduous task. The corner posts, usually of pine, he must
carry on his back and set in the ground. If he can, he secures tools
for mortising and builds a well-constructed hip-roof. Slender poles
laid across the rafters provide a base for the thatched roof of pal
metto leaves. If he has money and can reach good roads by car or with
30 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
a canoe, he builds a sleeping platform of sawed boards within the
cheekee; otherwise he raises a framework of thick logs and tops it off
with rough planks laboriously hewed by hand. This simple hut, mere
ly a platform and a roof, takes about two months to build for he
must spend much of his time scouring the surrounding country for
If two or more families settle in one place, extra houses are some
times built. A cooking shed, much the same as the cheekee but with
out the platform, is erected in most cases to protect the camp fire.
From the roof of this shelter the squaw hangs her pots and pans, her
drying meats and herbs, beyond reach of the ever-ravenous dogs, pigs,
and thieving chickens. A high table for washing and sun-drying tin
ware, a mortar and pestle, and a small, hand-operated sewing machine
complete the average camp equipment.
The mortar and pestle is the Indian "master-mixer." The mortar
is fashioned from a two-foot section of a thick log and stands upright
on the ground. The upper end is hollowed like a bowl by burning,
the process requiring about four days if the fire is fanned constantly.
The pestle is shaped from a thick stick, long enough to permit the
squaw to stand at her work.
For the! camp fire the Indian arranges four or more long logs,
drawing their ends to a common center like spokes in a wheel. As
the logs are consumed, they are pushed forward to feed the fire. On
chilly days they provide warm and comfortable resting places.
Over the flames is set or suspended the camp ff sofkee" pot con
taining a thin, unsalted gruel of grits, meal, or rice that is kept hot
from dawn until bedtime. When the family is around the camp
there is no regular mealtime; each member eats whenever he happens
to feel hungry. Otherwise the men eat first. For each pot there is
usually but one large wooden spoon that is passed about when they
eat, and a meal is often a long-drawn-out affair.
The average Indian is industrious and a good family provider.
Some camps cultivate small plots of ground producing, because of
poor methods, scanty crops of corn, sugar cane, yams, and pumpkins.
These are supplemented by wild berries, fruits, and the tender shoots
of the cabbage palm.
During the hot, rainy season, vegetables, never plentiful at any
time, are doubly scarce. "Gopher," a lean, tough, land turtle, and
"garfish," a leathery form of water life, roasted over the fire become
the principal foods. Even these are becoming more difficult to obtain
with the passing years. This is one reason why camps are moved so
Whether from economic causes or contacts with civilization, the
SEMINOLES, PAST AND PRESENT 31
dress of the Indians has undergone extensive changes during the past
twenty-five years. Earlier in this century the men wore leggings and
moccasins of deerskin. They also affected a turban of shawls or large
handkerchiefs and likewise wore numerous handkerchiefs around their
necks. The women were attired in full, straight skirts that failed by
a wide margin to meet a short, long-sleeved upper garment. They
wore no covering for their feet or head. Their coiffure consisted of
bangs with a Psyche knot. While some of the older women today still
wear their hair in this fashion the younger have adopted an intricate
pompadour protected by a modern hairnet. These pompadours, some
times set at a rakish angle, are often so large they appear like wide-
brimmed black hats. They still wear the full old-fashioned long skirts
but the upper garment is now a wide cape that reaches to the wrists.
Many of them own rings and bracelets of hammered silver. The
heavy silver necklaces, aptly described as breastplates have given way
to strings of colored beads, piled, loop upon loop, until they frequently
become a collar reaching from the shoulder to the ears.
The men, like the women, have also made concessions to civiliza
tion but, while the women have adopted the policy of more clothes,
the male tends toward simplification. Except for the older men who
still cling to the one piece tunic, most Indians wear "store" pants and
shoes. Their shirts are more colorful than ever but the turban is fast
disappearing. Most of them still wear a bright-hued handkerchief
about the neck. Neither the men nor the women wear any sort of
While the male is still the hunter, he does not confine his labor
exclusively to the chase. There is a fair division of work and the
woman is not a mere drudge or slave to her lord and master. She
spends most of her time about the camp, cooking, sewing, washing,
and perhaps making curios. The money the squaw makes is her own
and she spends it in shops, when she goes to town, without consulting
her husband. The children collect roots of the coontie for flour and
help with other light tasks. Any heavy work, including planting and
care of crops, is performed by the men.
Camp life is largely communal so far as labor is concerned, but
property rights are inviolate. The modern steel traps used mostly for
raccoon are private property as is the 50 cents derived from each pelt.
Deer hides are worth as much as $2; the horns are sold as souvenirs
and the venison used for food. The Seminole does not sell his house
which, if not in use, may be occupied by another family. If a new
family comes to live in an established camp he may use the common
shelter for awhile but, by custom, is expected to build his own hut
if his stay is overlong.
32 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
The increasing scarcity of food experienced by the Seminoles has
forced on them an unbalanced diet and, consequently, many of them,
especially the children, suffer from malnutrition and need dental care.
Still more serious are the problems of sanitation and hygiene. More
frequent contact with white men in late years has brought among the
Indians many diseases, hidden enemies which they do not know how
to combat. Typhoid and tuberculosis are rare. Hookworm is preva
lent. The first case of venereal disease appeared in 1923; by 1930, 25
cases were reported and the disease continues to spread. Of all the
maladies reported, malaria occurs most frequently.
The first health survey was made by Dr. O. S. Phillips in 1919
and his report indicated that conditions were good. Subsequent in
vestigations, however, reveal that sanitary conditions are generally
bad and that the Indians, if they are to be saved from extinction, need
instruction in hygiene. The swamp lands they inhabit are alive with
mosquitoes. Their water supply is usually a shallow pit or hole filled
with discolored surface water used indiscriminately for bathing, wash
ing clothes, and often accessible to the pigs, chickens, and dogs about
the camp. Garbage is thrown just beyond the limits of the camp
where, trampled by the animals, it swarms with flies that find their
way to the cooking utensils and unprotected food. While these con
ditions do not prevail at all camps, sanitation is the exception rather
than the rule.
The Indian Agency has provided contract doctors in several areas,
but it is not usual for an ailing Indian to seek the aid of these doctors
immediately. Instead, he is expected first to consult his medicine man.
Inasmuch as the medicine man travels about from camp to camp, he
is often difficult to find. If the remedies prescribed by the medicine
man do not effect a cure, the sick man will leave his swamps to consult
white doctors. The cures the latter have brought about are increasing
their prestige among the Indians who now call on them more fre
The Seminole medicine man is no obstetrician and is never called
to attend an expectant mother. When her hour of labor arrives the
prospective mother, accompanied by a near relative, retires to a pre
viously prepared tent or shelter, some distance from the camp. Cory
Osceola brought his wife to a hospital in 1929 and that was the first
year an Indian maternity case was admitted to a Miami hospital.
When the baby is four days old it receives its first string of beads.
Should the string break before a year has passed, it is believed that the
baby will lose many friends. To avert such bad luck, the beads are
often restrung during that period.
As a child grows older he receives the customary training in
SEMINOLE S, PAST AND PRESENT 33
obedience. He must learn to obey commands immediately and with
out comment or argument. Unruly youngsters are switched. In
flagrant cases the parent uses a snake s tooth to scratch the stubborn
child s arm, sometimes bringing blood. That these Indians have their
problems in child training and guidance is evident from the many
scarred arms observed in some camps.
The training a child receives is of an intensely practical nature.
As a rule Seminole children are unworried by church or school bells.
A few girls have been sent to out-of-state reservation schools and one
boy attend the Miami Senior High School. Several attempts to estab
lish schools among them failed, largely because the average Indian
family does not remain long in one place and because many of them
still cling tenaciously to old traditions. "Indian wants to live as he
lived in the old days": in these words Sam Jones, influential medicine
man voiced the attitude of his people.
This viewpoint has helped also to defeat repeated efforts by sev
eral religious denominations to Christianize the Seminoles. The Bap
tist and Episcopal missionaries are still in the field, aided by a Creek
Baptist missionary from Oklahoma, but even after years of teaching,
Christian religion is still not established as an institution.
They believe in a Supreme Being, a future existence, and resur
rection, but whether these beliefs are vestiges of early Spanish in
fluences or the result of later missionary efforts is difficult to ascertain.
Their legends would indicate that their present religion is a rather con
fused collection of concepts growing out of a fusion of the beliefs of
the various peoples who combined to form the tribe and the passive
or unintentional adoption of such Christian tenets as appealed to them.
"E-shock-e-toni-isee" (God), according to one version of cre
ation, scattered seeds in a fertile valley and men sprang from the seeds.
God had a son, "E-shock-e-tom-issee-e-po-chee," who, at one time,
came to live with the Indians in the southern part of Florida and,
carried over their land by three braves, sowed coontie seed that his
people might never be hungry. Coontie (wild cassava) today is
found only in the southern end of the peninsula.
That they have knowledge of the Christian version of creation is
evinced in a story told by a white medicine man, a particular friend
of the Big Cypress group. When this man told how the Great Spirit
took two ribs from the first man and made a woman, a listening In
dian gravely interrupted him with the words, "One rib."
Fear, the basis of most primitive religions, is embodied in the
Seminole belief and tends to secure conformity to their moral code,
neither to lie, nor steal, nor cheat. When a bad Indian dies his soul
dies with him and there the matter ends. The soul of the good In-
34 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
dian goes to talk with God for four days. While it is gone the fam
ily keeps fires lighted at each end of his grave. After talking with
God, the spirit, "Sue-loo-path-e," of the dead Indian returns to earth,
looks over his home and friends, takes his possessions, and departs.
The spirit is free to return at any time but this privilege is not ac
corded the spirit of bad Indians.
A somewhat different practice is observed when an Indian meets
a violent death. Chief Jack Tigertail was shot and killed by a white
man early on the morning of March 8, 1922. He was buried by white
men who placed beside his body all his possessions, including his rifle.
Only a brother was present. The family remained in camp for, in
cases of violent death, evil spirits take possession of the body. If near
relatives look upon the remains, these evil spirits escape and enter into
them. By not looking on the dead kinsman, the evil spirits are com
pelled to remain in the body and are buried with it. To ward off any
stray spirits and bring peace to the tribe, the family keeps a number of
fires burning about the camp for four days.
Social control assumes severe forms in marriage regulations. While
an Indian may take a wife from another race, tribal law, rigidly en
forced by the squaws, prevents an Indian woman from accepting any
but an Indian for a husband. The Indian girl who transgresses the
moral code faces death. Nigger Dick, who lives at Immokalee, is the
son of an Indian mother and a Negro. The squaws killed his mother
when he was two years old. Another Indian girl who had a baby by
a white man was subjected to heartless cruelty by the squaws when she
gave birth to her child. Two white women who were present left the
scene for a few moments and on their return discovered that the
squaws had killed the newborn baby.
Adultery is likewise punishable by death and marriage vows are
therefore rarely broken. Divorces, however, are permitted, but are
extremely rare. In case a couple decides to part the procedure is
simple. The man leaves and the woman becomes again a part of her
mother s family. Any children born of the union belong uncondi
tionally to the wife. This right is vested in her by reason of the
Seminole custom of reckoning descent through the mother and is
so strongly felt that a man will not touch or fondle his children fol
lowing a divorce.
Marriage is exogamous, that is, forbidding a man to select a mate
within his own group or clan. According to an old tribal custom it
should be prefaced by an engagement lasting over a period of four
years. During that time the prospective groom must live with the
girl s family. If the young man proves amicable and is well liked they
may be married by the chief at the Green Corn Dance following the
SEMINOLES, PAST AND PRESENT 35
fourth year of their engagement. As a rule, however, the young
couple finds the situation intolerable and elope into the swamps. On
their return they go before the chief who performs an informal cere
mony. The formal marriage must take place later at the Green Corn
The marriage ceremony is short, its performance requiring but
a few brief words. Tony Tommy and Edna John Osceola, a de
scendant of Chief Osceola, were married on June 16, 1926, with John
Osceola, uncle of the bride, officiating. Bidding the couple to clasp
their right hands together, he instructed them to "Be good, love each
other and live together." The evening was spent in feasting and
dancing. The next morning the young couple left camp for an in
definite stay in the Everglades, Indian equivalent to a honeymoon,
Not long afterward, Edna Tommy died in camp on the Miami
River and was buried the same day in Woodlawn Park Cemetery, for
custom decrees that a person dying during the day must be buried
before the sun sets. If death occurs during the night interment must
take place before sunrise.
The morning she died the waters of the Miami River were con
secrated and the women of the village bathed in the sacred water.
Cooking utensils were cleaned and scoured and nothing was cooked in
them that day.
During the day, bread, canned foods, water, her clothing and
personal trinkets were placed in her coffin at the funeral home. At
the ceremony Tony Tommy, with a blue handkerchief tied over his
head, stood at the head of the grave and handed down his wife s
blankets and cooking utensils. The grave, in accordance with Semi-
nole instructions, was so prepared that the remains might face the
Since the Seminoles began burying their dead in the cemeteries
provided for their use at Dania and Immokalee reservations, some of
the ceremonies have been dropped. Until a few years ago, the In
dians took their dead to the Everglades. They placed two heavy logs
side by side and lined the space with palmetto fronds on which they
laid the corpse wrapped in a blanket and bound with ropes or saw-
grass. When the possessions were arranged beside the body they laid
a "hog pen" of logs over it for protection from buzzards and animals.
They made medicine and departed to return again after an interval of
four months when they cleaned around the "pen," made more medi
cine and left, never to visit the spot again.
No women attended these funeral ceremonies. If the deceased
were under five years of age the women took complete charge and the
36 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
men were not permitted to assist. No medicine was made at a child s
funeral but the women returned to clean around the "pen" as did
Many ceremonies of various natures are performed at the Green
Corn Dance, held deep in the Everglades during the month of June.
This dance is the annual "get-together" for the Seminoles and is the
only festival in which all groups participate. The locations are de
termined each year and three dances are arranged on dates that per
mit any Indian or group of Indians to attend all three, but the priv
ilege is little used.
While a few white men have witnessed some of these dances, it is
doubtful if they have gained an accurate or complete knowledge of
their meaning. In the early part of the century young Indians were
initiated as warriors in one of the ceremonies known as the "In-sha-
pit." The young buck s legs were cut with switches until the blood
flowed and he was acknowledged as a warrior if he betrayed no sign
At this festival the Indians also pass judgment on those who
transgress tribal laws. Some years ago a prominent Seminole killed a
squaw in a drunken brawl. Following the crime he was placed in
custody of a fellow tribesman since the Seminoles have no jails or
officers of the law. Later, he accompanied his custodian to the Green
Corn Dance knowing full well that a death penalty awaited him. The
night before the trial his stoicism deserted him and, apart from his
fellows, he lay through the long hours of darkness, groaning and roll
ing on the ground.
Meanwhile the Indian agent, old, partly deaf, and half blind, was
hurrying along the arduous trail to the camp. He appeared before the
solemn council and pleaded for the life of the murderer. The man
awaiting judgment had been of great help to their tribe in the past
and if spared, would be a credit to them in the future. The agent won
a suspended sentence for the prisoner who was, nevertheless, placed
under probation for life. If, thereafter, he was found in any disturb
ance, even though it be started by others, he was subject to immediate
execution. He lives today still under the shadow of this perpetual
sentence. He is an influential man in his tribe, friendly with white
men, and leads an exemplary life.
At the Green Corn Dance, which is likewise a feast for sorrow
ing, rejoicing, and purifying, men who are guilty of minor offenses
are reinstated. The offenders are confined in a closed tent where a
large stone rests on a roaring fire. The "Black Drink," an herb con
coction prepared by the chief medicine man, is poured over the hot
S E M I N O L E S, PAST AND PRESENT 37
stone and the entrance to the tent is sealed. Later, the inmates are re
leased and permitted to join the festivities.
The Indians, during these ceremonies, permit no white men to
approach, to take pictures of, or to speak with the medicine man or
members of his council. The medicine man sits near the sacred fire
and from time to time takes herbs from a leather pouch dropping
them in a kettle to make the potion which the braves drink and also
use to lave their faces and feet.
It is said that the "Black Drink" is brewed from a mixture of
star grass, slippery elm and palmetto leaves, and used by head men in
preparation for important conclaves. The beverage is supposed to
cleanse the system and bring wisdom and clearness to the mind.
At sundown the men and women gather about the fire and be
gin to chant, dancing in single file around the blaze. The women used
to wear pebble-filled gourds tied just below their knees for this dance
but they have now adopted tin cans filled with beans or pebbles. Their
songs are a rhythmic monotone. They seem to have forgotten both
their war songs and dances.
Minnie Moore Willson, a writer on Indian life, mentions a ritual,
similar to the national festival of the Aztecs, during which the old
fires are permitted to die. When the last spark is burnt out a new fire,
the Sacred Fire, is kindled by means of a flint and the fire is pre
sented from one tribe to another as a token of friendship.
According to an old Seminole legend there was once a time, long
ago, when only one tribe knew the secret of fire. This tribe guarded
its knowledge closely. Even at the Green Corn Dance, braves
from neighboring tribes were not allowed to approach the flames.
One year a large rabbit came to the Green Corn Dance and asked
to join the dance. The elders of the tribe were suspicious and would
have refused his request but the younger Indians, intrigud by the
rabbit s charm and persuasiveness, over-ruled their objections. So the
rabbit joined the celebrations and he danced and sang so well he soon
became the leader.
As he circled the fire he extended first one paw and then the
other toward the flames. The older men muttered at his temerity
but the young men laughed at his capers. Suddenly the rabbit seized
a brand from the blaze. Before the startled Indians realized his
intentions, he broke through the crowd and raced into the forest.
He ran with such speed that pursuit was useless.
The wise men held a council and it was decided that they must
bring rains to extinguish the fire stolen by the rabbit. The medicine
man went to the spring guarded by the snake. For four mornings
ha made medicine, charming the snake and troubling the waters of
38 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
the spring. Then the rain came. It overtook and drenched the rabbit
deep in the forest and the fire he carried was put out.
The rabbit appeared again at the Green Corn Dance held the
following year. Again he persuaded the Indians to let him join the
dance. After hours of fun-making and laughter he again seized a
burning brand from the fire and escaped into the forest. Once more
the medicine man made magic. The rain overtook the rabbit and
quenched the stolen fire.
When the Indians gathered for the Green Corn Dance on the
third year the rabbit renewed his efforts to secure the fire but though
he succeeded in stealing it the medicine man brought the rain for the
third time and the rabbit s work went for naught.
The rabbit, however, was persistent. He came to the dance the
fourth year and once more persuaded the tribe to let him join the
dance. As before, the cunning rabbit made off with a stick from
tru fire. For the fourth time, the medicine man caused the rains
to come. The rabbit, by this time, had become wiser. He knew
the rain would destroy the fire he had stolen. When the first drops
began to fall he ran to a coral reef and held the fire under a sheltering
rock. When the rains ended he continued his journey and carried
the fire back to his tribe.
Such are the stories told and retold, year by year, at the "Green
Corn Dance." Ancient rites and traditions, things that make a people
into a community, are fostered at this ceremony. Seminole laws are
embraced in their simple moral codes, and the group assembling at
the "Green Corn places" is the judicial and executive body
Theoretically, the Seminoles are subject to all state and Federal
laws but the application is general and enforced only if the crime
implicates a person outside the tribe. In a recent murder case involv
ing two Indians, the local court conducted a perfunctory hearing
and turned the offender back to the tribe for judgment.
While the Indians appear thoroughly capable of handling
internal affairs, they are not a unified people and stand in need of a
recognized leader. The Big Cypress group maintains an independent
attitude and apparently resents the growing intimacy between the
East Coast Indians and the whites. On one occasion, they openly
denounced an overture which an eastern group made to the Federal
Tony Tommy, educated with white children at Fort Lauderdale,
addressed the following communication, dated December 10, 1926,
to President Coolidge:
"It is the sincere and earnest wish of the 300 members of the
Seminole Indian nation in the State of Florida to end the truce
SEM 1 N O LES, PAST AND PRESENT 39
made for them by Chief Osceola with the United States Govern
ment, in the year 1817, and to become citizens of the United
States of America by severing allegiance to the job and to take
such legal and necessary steps as will remove all legal restric
tions which have heretofore prevented them from enjoying all
the rights and privileges accorded other nations and peoples.
"In councils with the people of my various tribes, I as or
dained chief of the Seminole Indian people in all Florida, have
been authorized to take such steps as I deem advisable to bring
about a more amicable relationship with the United States Gov
"I, therefore, beseech you as President of the United States of
America to listen to my appeal and give me advice and council
regarding what steps are necessary to bring about the desired
Nuck-Suc-Ha-Chee, a resident of the lower Everglades branded
Tony Tommy a fake and labelled his peace gesture a publicity stunt.
Indignant, he dispatched Josie Billy to Fort Myers to say that when
Federal cooperation was wanted the Indian council would take formal
action and make announcements through the proper channel, the
This resentment against intrusion in their affairs is very much
alive today. A group of big Cypress Indians refused invitations to
the dedication of a new school building completed on the Brighton
Reservation in November, 1938, though a majority of the Indians
on this reservation favored the school for their children and cooper
ated to the extent of aiding in its construction.
The first school for Indians on the East Coast was built at Dania
and opened in January 1927. It was closed much of the time for
lack of attendance. Another school built at Miami remains unused
for the same reason.
Since the Florida Seminole Agency, later moved to Dania, was
established east of Fort Myers in 1892 for the "support, civilization,
and instruction of the Seminole Indians in Florida," but little prog
ress has been made. At their camps and villages, the Indian com
mercializes his handiwork, his sports, his traditions, and even his very
family. Yet, though his premises are open and unguarded, his
attitude of philosophical and stoical indifference is as unimpression
able as the silence of the never-ending swamps that stretch away to
the gray horizon.
HISTORY OF MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY
THE first white settlement in Dade County was on the site of
what is now the city of Miami. It was the Jesuit Mission of
Tequesta, established by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1567, and
consisted of a block-house that sheltered about 30 soldiers and Brother
Villareal, a Jesuit lay brother, who was delegated to instruct the
Indians in the Christian faith.
These Indians were of the Calusa nation. They were cruel,
shrewd, and rapacious. They were known to offer human sacrifices.
They murdered most of the priests, explorers and adventurers who
came among them or who were so unfortunate as to be shipwrecked
on their coast. Early writers never definitely established a reason for
their bloodthirsty attitude. According to Fontanedo they often
killed their white captives, not out of fear or anger, but out of sheer
annoyance. The savages might ask the whites to dance or sing and
the captives could not obey because they did not understand the
Indians who thereupon put them to death.
Such were the Tequestas and other tribes of south Florida. The
site of the Jesuit Mission at the mouth of the Miami River has not
been definitely located. Its brief history is but a line or two in the
annals of the early Jesuit Fathers. The Tequesta mission was aban
doned and it was not until 1743 that another attempt was made to
Christianize the natives in this area.
Father F. X. Alegre in his History of the Company of Jesus,
writing of the inhabitants of the keys, says that they had "inherited
a reverent regard for the early Jesuit Fathers from their Calusa and
Tequesta ancestors." At any rate the Jesuits established a second
mission, San Ignacio, somewhere in the vicinity of Coconut Grove.
The Fathers mention their meeting with the Miamias, and this is
the first instance in which the name is associated with a people.
Two priests, Fathers Alana and Monaca, worked with the soldiers
to build a shelter of logs, mortar, and coral stone. Father Alana
then went to Cuba to ask the governor, Gomez y Horcasitas, for
additional soldiers. The request was not granted and sometime later
this second mission was deserted.
Spain and England, in 1748, concluded a treaty designed to keep
peace between their respective colonies in the New World but in
1759 Spain joined France in the French and Indian War. Three
years later, Havana and Cuba fell to English arms. Spain regarded
Cuba with more interest than Florida and therefore, when peace was
made, succeeded in trading the English out of their possession, offer
ing them the Territory of Florida. Thus, under the Treaty of Paris,
1763, Florida passed to the English having been under Spanish rule
for nearly two centuries.
In 1774 Governor Patrick Tonyn was in charge of the govern
ment of East Florida, King George III having divided his prize into
an East and West Florida in 1763, the year in which the last of the
Calusas were transported from Dade County to Cuba. Tonyn s name
is of interest because it is said to be affixed to the first land grant
made in this area.
After the Revolutionary War, Florida remained an English pos
session but was shortly afterward traded back to Spain again, England
receiving in return the Bahamas. During the English regime many
loyal subjects of the King, and others, had been led to settle in Florida.
It is probable that most of them might have retained their holdings
but to do so they would have to swear allegiance to the Spanish King.
The English Crown generously offered to reimburse subjects who
held Florida lands and preferred to lose them rather than become
subjects of Spain.
One of these was John Augustus Ernest who described his
property as follows:
"Sheweth that your Memoralist now is, and has been
"a Resident in London upwards of twenty years; and
"at the late cession of East Florida to Spain was
"in possession of twenty thousand Acres of Land, in
"Pine, Marsh & Savannahs, situated on Gulph Sandwich,
"bound by Rock-Bridge River North; by a fresh Water
"River, South, by Biscayne Sound East; & by vacant
"Land West; distant from St. Augustine in said pro-
"vince of East Florida about two hundred and Ninety
"That the said twenty thousand Acres of Land were
"given and granted to the Memoralist, and to his
"Heirs for ever, by the King & Council, and by Patent
"under the hand and Seal of Governor Tonyn, dated East
"Florida, 27th. December 1774 "
Ernest never saw his land in Dade County. During the period
of English occupation, however, there was another, one Frankie
Lewis, who evidently had no great concern about his political or
42 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
governmental ties. In 1796 Lewis obtained from the Spanish Crown,
a grant of 640 acres located "south of the New River, near Cape
This marked the beginning of a mild real estate boom in what
is now Dade County. In 1805 his Spanish Majesty granted 175 acres
of land on Key Biscayne to Mary Ann Davis and another of 640
acres, "south of the Miami River, near Cape Florida" to Polly Lewis.
John Eagan likewise secured 640 acres, "south of the Miami River,
near Cape Florida," and then, when this location became overworked,
the Spanish King varied his custom. The next grant was made to
James Eagan, son of John Eagan, settled on his 640 acre section,
"north of the Miami River, near Cape Florida."
Rebecca Eagan obtained 640 acres, again "south of the Miami
River, near Cape Florida," and the Lewises stepped in again as Jona
than Lewis took up another 640 acres in what later became known
as the "Punch Bowl District," an area in the vicinity of Coconut
Grove. More specifically located was the grant of Richard Tice who
obtained a section of 640 acres near Cape Florida and the Miami
River and "opposite Key Biscayne."
A fourth name apparently enters this early history as a James
Hagan and Mrs. Hagan are each credited with 64O-acre grants along
the Bay, one on each side of the Miami River. These names evidently
clouded title to this land for 80 years for in 1892, by virtue of a
court order, the name "Hagan" on these patents was changed to
Two larger grants appear in this period as Joseph Delespine
obtained 92,160 acres and Archibald Clark was donated 80,000 acres.
Both these grants were located "near Cape Florida," and were made
in the year 1813. Succession of title was broken and later records
do not reveal the disposition of these lands which afterward became
public domain. Another large grant of 12,000 acres, made to
Eusebio Maria Gomez, was "on the river and island known by the
name of Jupiter and Saint Lucia."
Along the Gulf of Mexico, the strip of land called West Florida
became the refuge of pirates, outlaws, runaway slaves, and Indians.
Marauding bands hampered the development of adjoining territory
and lawless men preyed on shipping from Gulf ports. These condi
tions and the desire of the United States government for a clear path
to the sea for the Mississippi River Valley agricultural products led
to a bold move.
President Madison, in 1810, ordered Governor Claiborne of New
Orleans to take possession of West Florida. By a secret act early in
1811 Congress authorized the President to occupy East Florida. Great
Britain protested this bare-faced occupation of Spanish territory so
violently that Madison withdrew the troops in 1813.
Border trouble persisted, however, and Spain in trouble with its
revolting South American Territories, was in no position to keep
order in Florida. Monroe, in 1817, took the opportunity to send
Jackson on an "Indian hunt" in Spanish territory. General Jackson
swept across Florida in five months and in 1818 returned to the
United States, leaving Florida a conquered province. Spain decided
to abandon the territory, which by treaty became a possession of the
United States on February 22, 1819.
Eleven years later, in 1830, the holdings of the Lewis and Eagan
families became the property of R. R. Fitzpatrick, of Columbia, S. C.,
who later became collector of customs at Key West.
Fitzpatrick was a man of industry and resource. Bringing a
large number of slaves, he began an ambitious agricultural program,
clearing the jungle growth along the shore for three miles south of
the Miami River and one mile north of it. On this rich hammock
land he began a plantation of lime trees and cotton.
The increasing intrusion of white men into territory held by the
Indians brought on the same difficulties in Florida as it did in other
parts of the country. In 1835, the beginning of the Seminole War
in north Florida, the Indians in the southern end of the peninsula
became unruly and began desultory raiding. Fitzpatrick grew alarmed
and moved to Key West. During the same year Major Francis L.
Dade, with all but two of his men, was massacred by the Indians in
The United States initiated a determined campaign to put down
the Indians by removing them from the state to reservations in the
West. The Indians, in turn, clung stubbornly to the land which
was swiftly becoming as foreign to their wants and needs as any.
They were driven from their homes and forced to seek refuge in the
swamps and morasses. Driven continually southward, they never
theless seemed to have a never ceasing source of supplies that enabled
them to resist successfully the Federal troops.
It was suspected that these supplies were coming from sympa
thizers in Cuba. The coastal regions were lined with forts and
military roads and the bays and inlets swarmed with patrol boats and
still the wily Seminole chieftains outwitted their would-be captors.
During 1836, the year Dade County was created by an act of
the Territorial Legislative Council, the Seminole committed a crime
that stands out in the history of the area chiefly because it is marked
by an historic landmark and therefore easy to point out. On the
afternoon of July 23, the Indians began an attack on the Cape Florida
44 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Lighthouse which, at the time, housed John W. B. Thompson, keeper,
and his Negro servant.
The Indians burned the lighthouse. Thompson and the Negro
were wounded, the latter so seriously that he died. Thompson cut
away the stairs and found safety on a narrow platform around the
light, high above the ground, where he nearly roasted before the
flames subsided. He was rescued the next day by members of the crew
of the United States schooner Motto.
Marie Coppick, in an undated clipping from the Miami Daily
News, drawing for material on a diary said to be owned by Mrs.
Harry B. Boyer, whose husband is connected with the United
States Meteorological Station at Key West, gives a slightly different
account of the incident. Mrs. Boyer is the daughter of Mrs. Cortland
Williams, whose maiden name was Druscilla Duke. In 1831 Mrs.
Williams, then a child, came with her parents and younger brother
to live on the banks of the Miami River. They were warned of an
uprising by a friendly Indian and, with several of their neighbors,
sought safety in the lighthouse, thinking the Indians would not be
bold enough to attack government property. A boat came and several
of the refugees embarked on it for Key West but the Dukes elected
"There were a number of others who preferred to take their
chances against the Indians in the lighthouse to the hazards of a sail
boat. Among these were my father and mother. We remained at
Cape Florida Light."
So reads the diary. After describing the burning of the light
house Mrs. Williams tells of their return home. "We were taken to
Key West where we remained for a few days and when all was quiet
on the Miami River we returned to our home. We found that the
Indians had not touched anything belonging to us. Our watch dog
was in the front of the house when we arrived and greeted us with
his friendly bark.
"Afterwards some old Indian told my father that the reason
our home was spared was because we had always been kind to Chief
Alabama and his family."
The great problem that confronted the United States during the
Seminole conflict was their unfamiliarity with the territory which
the Indians knew so well. In addition the soldiers were unused to
the climate and encountered many difficulties in establishing suitable
bases and arranging for transportation of supplies.
The troops began scouting the Everglades to locate and destroy
Indian camps, depots, and supply trails. It was in this connection
that Fort Dallas was first established as a naval post in 1834 when
Lieut. L. M. Powell, U.S.N. landed at the mouth of the Miami River
and built a stockade. For two years the patrol of Biscayne Bay and
the scouting of adjacent territory were maintained. The United
States Army then took over the fort.
Some thought the Indians had Spanish allies in Cuba. At any
rate they were more alert than the soldiers anticipated. The Seminoles
avoided the bay and planted water lettuce and other water weeds in
the Miami River to give it an unusual appearance. After several
months Fort Dallas was virtually abandoned. Fort Bankhead (later
Fort Russell) was continued as a naval base and the Bay of Biscayne
guarded from blockade runners. Meanwhile, the south fork of the
Miami River was alive with contraband boats moving from Cape
Sable and Taylor River northward to the waterways near Fort Pierce.
The "Davis Military Map," a compilation of information gath
ered by officers who had served in the Seminole War up to that time,
1856, shows that during the period from 1834 the Everglades were
thoroughly explored and many forts, subsidiary to Fort Dallas, were
erected at what were considered strategic points.
The sites of many of these forts have been lost. In 1848, Fort
Dallas was a stockade of tree trunks and heavy timbers, its wooden
buildings thatched with palmettos which, in turn, were thickly
plastered with mud as a protection against fire-arrows. The perma
nent garrison maintained at Fort Russell (Bankhead) on Biscayne
Key came over from time to time, did some work on the fort, but
there is no record of decisive battles with the Indians.
It was not until Captain Bennett C. Hill, with a company of
artillery and a few engineers arrived in 1849 that a permanent fort
was built. William English, who had finally acquired the Eagan-
Lewis grants, had begun the construction of the stone structures
that are generally spoken of as Fort Dallas. Captain Hill s men com
pleted the buildings. His constructions were to "make the fort
substantial and open a road to Lake Okeechobee and maintain it."
His scouts were also to "discover where and how the contraband
came in so voluminously."
At this time, records show that Hill found a two-story building
42 x 29 feet, which we know was the officers headquarters, later the
residence of Mrs. Julia D. Tuttle, and the first courthouse in Dade
County. There was also a long one-story building, 95 x 15 feet,
which was given a second story of planks, and a "piazza in front on
both floors for coolness." This fort was abandoned on June 10, i8f8,
after the soldiers found and cut off the Seminoles last avenue for
This supply route, known today as Chi s Cut, was an artificial
46 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
waterway constructed by a subchief named Chachi who seemed to
be a sort of quartermaster general. Originally it was a barely per
ceptible indentation on the shore line, a natural outlet draining the
low prairies southeast of Homestead and emptying into Biscayne
Bay. This obscure waterway ending in coastal mud flats was naviga
ble for shallow Indian boats during periods of high waters.
Chachi deepened this sluggish stream until it would accommodate
his boats and transplanted water plants to conceal it from the soldiers.
It served until the soldiers captured a Negro who had been an Indian
slave. Making him drunk, they learned from him the secret of Chi s
Cut and also the blind entrance to Taylor River which connected
with practically all known canoe lanes, the Miami, Harney, Shark,
and New Rivers and their tributaries. With this knowledge the
troops were soon able to bottle the Seminole in the Everglades. With
out military supplies they could not carry on war. They gradually
accepted the situation and while they were more or less troublesome
for another generation, no serious incidents occurred.
While the Indians were developing their ingenious system of
inland waterways, the soldiers were likewise busy constructing a road
down the east coast to facilitate the transportation of heavy ordi
nance. This first rough roadway known as the Capron Trail was used
for many years by settlers as they carried civilization southward and
today is followed approximately by the railroad and highway that
run down the eastern edge of the peninsula.
The route of the Capron Trail where it is not destroyed or
hidden by modern trails, is covered by trees and vines that have grown
over it in the past three quarters of a century. Only a part of the
actual route of this old military trail has been definitely established.
During the war with the Seminole the army erected a head
quarters at Fort Pierce. Eight miles to the north, opposite the "Old
Inlet" of Indian River was the nearest satisfactory point for ships to
land supplies. Here the soldiers built a pier protected by a heavy
stockade. This trail, between the landing shown on the map as
Ft. Capron, and Ft. Pierce, became known as the Capron Trail. As
the war progressed the troops pursued the Indians southward. Fort
Jupiter was built in January 1842 and Worth s Stockade soon after
ward. The road followed the movement of supplies to Fort Lauder-
dale and to Fort Dallas.
In Miami the Capron Trail left the fort at a point now covered
by the northwest corner of the Dallas Park Hotel, progressed in a
northwesterly direction to Miami Avenue to the old City Cemetery.
Where this avenue crosses the tracks of the Florida East Coast Railway,
a narrow street branches ofT diagonally to the right. This little street,
unnamed on city maps, marks the course of the trail as it bent east
ward. At Northeast Second Avenue it again turned north and
crossed Little River by means of a ford about 20 feet east of the
Parts of the Trail are still visible on the "Old Back Road" to
Arch Creek. The Old Dixie Highway covers the Trail until it joins
the new Federal Highway. The route from that point northward is
uncertain. It is believed to have passed through Dania, known as
"Five Mile Hammock," and then turned eastward and northward to
New River to Colee s Hammock where there was once a ferry, site
of the Colee Massacre.
It touched Indian Hammock, continued along the broken land
between the coastal plains and the Everglades, and continued into
Palm Beach County where several miles of this trail, now called the
"Military Road," are still in existence.
During the early part of the war, before this military road was
completed, the Indians, far to the southward, wiped out a pioneer
settlement, killing a man whose memory is still perpetuated in the
name of Perrine, a little town southwest of Miami. Dr. Henry
Perrine was a botanist who had served the Federal government
as consul at Campeachy, Mexico, for 12 years. In recognition of
the doctor s services and to permit him to engage in experiments in
tropical agriculture, Congress, on July 2, 1838, granted Dr. Perrine,
a township of land, on the mainland, along Biscayne Bay in unsur-
Dr. Perrine, while waiting for the Indians to subside, brought
his family to live in a little settlement on Indian Key where there
was some promise of security. About a mile to the north, on Tea
Table Key, were a naval station and a small detachment of soldiers.
The doctor s home was a substantial three-story structure, part of it
extending over the water. From it projected a walled-in passage
which extended under the house to form a bathing pool reached by
a trap door from a dressing room above.
When drunken Indians attacked the settlement early on the
morning of August 7, 1840, Dr. Perrine roused his family and urged
them through the trap door into the bathing pool. The Indians broke
into the house and set fire to it after killing the doctor. The family,
suffering from burns and smoke, lay concealed beneath the wharf
until most of the Indians had departed when they found a small boat
and were rescued by a passing vessel.
While the war was in progress the politicians were busy at state
craft. New counties were formed with startling rapidity. The
territorial form of government did not meet the approval of men
48 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
who jealously viewed the increasing power and wealth of adjoining
states. Florida had no voice or power in Washington.
Men of the newly formed Dade County were as dissatisfied as
the rest. December 3, 1838, found Richard Fitzpatrick, representa
tive from Dade, at the constitutional convention called at St. Joseph,
seat of Calhoun County.
During these years things went from bad to worse in Dade
County. Agriculture became impossible and family after family
drifted to safer localities. In 1850 the English plantations were deserted.
After 1858, when the soldiers withdrew, the old buildings became
the headquarters for blackguards and outlaws and so remained for
nearly twenty years.
One of the interesting court records dating from the period of
Florida s territorial existence, is the copy of the first marriage license
and certificate issued in Dade County and which reads as follows:
"Marriage License Temple Pent Junior
Clerk s Office Indian Key, July 11, 1840
Territory of Florida
To any ordained minister of the Gospel or Justice of the peace
within said County, Greeting :
Temple Pent Junior having applied for License to be united in
marriage to Eliza Bulward of this county.
You are hereby authorized to join together the said parties in holy
wedlock and for so doing this will be your sufficient warrant.
Witness my hand and the seal of the county Court of Dade County
this Fourth Day of July, A.D. 1840.
W. CATHCART MALONEY, Clk. B.C.
These are to certify to all whom it may concern that Temple Pent
Junior of the County of Dade, South Florida, Bachelor and Eliza Bul
ward within the said County, widow was after the exhibition of the
certificate of regular license married at the house of William Pent,
Key Vaccas, on the fifth day of July one thousand eight hundred and
forty by me.
ROBERT DYCE, Minister
This marriage was solemnized in the presence of
TEMPLE PENT SENR."
Allen Morris, in an article appearing in the Miami Herald of
May 29, 1938, describes a letter penned by this same W. C. Maloney,
Clerk of Dade County, to his excellency the governor. Maloney was
disgusted. Condensed, the story in the letter is as follows:
After the destruction of Indian Key (1840) Maloney deserted
the County Clerk s office. He ordered elections in 1841 and again
in 1842 to fill his office but no candidate appeared. Maloney con
tinued, therefore, to "act" as clerk to accommodate his neighbors.
After the key was destroyed he had nothing left but the county seal.
He had to dig in his own pockets for the price of a record book and
such papers as were necessary for his office.
In 1843 a general election was held on the sixth day of No
vember. Maloney could not canvass the vote and get the returns to
the legislative council within the time prescribed by law. Because
they could not be regarded as legal returns he sent them to the
Said Maloney: the county seat has been wiped out; it is no
longer safe to reside in the county; it was impossible to canvass the
vote within the specified time; he didn t want the job, and, appar
ently, neither did anyone else.
The boundaries of Dade County were changed with surprising
regularity after its creation in 1836. In 1870 it extended from above
Jupiter, 150 miles southward, to a point north of Key Largo and its
western boundary lay near the center of the peninsula. In this vast
area, almost as large as the State of Massachusetts, less than 100 people
made their homes.
Into this desolate country, in 1870, came William B. Brickell,
who settled on a point of land on the south bank of the Miami River
where it empties into the bay. Here he established an Indian trading
post and became mildly interested in public affairs when he was
appointed by the governor to act as County Commissioner along with
Andrew Barr, John A. Addison, and a Mr. Charltes, all of Lake Worth.
Other county officials at the time were: T. W. Faulkner, county
judge; Dr. R. B. Potter, county clerk; A. C. Richards, tax assessor
and collector; and William Metaur, sheriff.
About the time of BrickelPs arrival a settlement was under
way at Coconut Grove. A store was built there in 1870 and a post
office established in 1873. Brickell seems to have enjoyed a hermit s
solitude as other thriving settlements sprang up at Buena Vista and
Lemon City. He began buying land south of the river from Harriet
English who had inherited the holdings of her brother, Richard
Property on the north side of the river likewise began to change
hands. It is said that William F. English who owned much of this
land, was a nephew of Richard R. Fitzpatrick. In 1851, they pur
chased the S. S. Commodore Stockton and began a boat line to
California. They lost their vessel after it was seized on some tech
nicality when a storm forced it into a Mexican port. Harriet English
acquired the land which was sold to Dr. J. V. Harris who experi
mented, unsuccessfully, with tropical plants.
The Biscayne Bay Company, organized at the time, secured title
50 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
to the property through George M. Thew. Frank G. Ford is later
listed as a title holder and, still later, transfers were made to J. C.
Bailey, W. S. Wheeles, Joseph H. Day, and George M. Thew. Mrs.
Julia Tuttle began buying the interests of these men and finally
secured all but 20 acres which Day reserved.
In 1891 Mrs. Tuttle came to reside upon her property and, with
the Brickells on the south bank, the stage was now set for the future
Miami and one of the craziest and most spectacular real estate booms
in all history. Mrs. Tuttle was no stranger to the area. Born in
Cleveland, Ohio, she was the daughter of Ephraim T. Sturtevant who
came to Dade County about 1871 and settled on the south bank of
the Miami River. He later took up a homestead along the bay about
eight miles to the north. Julia Sturtevant was married to Frederick
Leonard Tuttle in Cleveland on January 22, 1867. She came to visit
her father in Dade County in 1880 and made a second visit two
years later. Her father died in Cleveland in 1886, but Mrs. Tuttle
returned to Florida again in 1890. Her first purchase consisted of
640 acres covering a square mile at the juncture of the river and the
bay. She eventually acquired much more land but it was this first
tract that now bears most of Miami s large hotels, stores, and office
Mrs. Tuttle, according to one report, met James E. Ingraham at
a dinner party in Cleveland sometime prior to 1893. Ingraham was
then an associate of Henry Plant who was rapidly building up an
empire of railroads, hotels, and lands. Mrs. Tuttle immediately
thereafter opened her campaign for extension of Flagler s line to
Miami, offering half her holdings to Flagler as an inducement to build.
Flagler and Henry Plant, west coast railroad man, had already
made an Everglades survey in 1892. A wide variety of crops were
being produced in great abundance on some of the lands drained near
Lake Okeechobee under the Disston contract. Two thousand acres
were in sugarcane, more than 5,000 in rice, and a still larger area was
devoted to general truck crops. Plans for draining the vast swamps
south of the lake were taking definite shape. The Hon. Frederick S.
Morse, later agent for the Model Land Company, a subsidiary of the
Flagler System, was, even then, a Miami resident.
Here and there settlers were beginning to occupy choice ham
mock lands. The population of the county increased from 85 in
1870 to 861 in 1890. These pioneers won their lands from the jungle
by hard manual labor, their main implement being the vicious but
efficient machete. In those days the back country teemed with game
and a man s most frequent visitor was an Indian or an unwelcome
Lumber for building in the Miami area was obtained chiefly from
the driftwood that piled up on the beaches. A pioneer s house might
not have much of a foundation and it rarely had a chimney or fire
place. In winter when a north wind made things unpleasant, a fire
was built out of doors, around which the family huddled for comfort.
Food was plentiful. Sea foods could be had in unlimited quantity
with but little effort. Venison and other game were plentiful.
Epicurean as this fare was, it grew monotonous and, at times, salt
pork, potatoes, cheese and flour became luxuries.
The pioneer s isolation was nearly complete. He traveled by
boat or not at all. If he became ill, he was nursed by family or
friends or boarded a boat to Key West, an important port since the
days of the Mexican War. Early settlers shipped live green turtles
by boat to the North and nearly every family had a mill for the
manufacture of starch from coontie, a wild tuber that thrived in
Such was Dade County when during the winter of 1894-95
there came the "great freeze," that ruined citrus groves in the north
ern part of the State. Thousands of grove owners were broke and
many thought it spelled the end of the industry.
The course of succeeding events is clear enough but they have
been retold so often and with so many variations that the tale takes
on an almost romantic touch. Ingraham is pictured bearing a spray
of orange blossoms from Mrs. Tuttle to Flagler, as proof that Miami
was immune from frost and the logical center of the State s citrus
industry. She won Flagler who, with a staff of counsellors, immedi
ately came to interview her.
With his usual astuteness Flagler persuaded Mrs. Tuttle to turn
over to him all her waterfront holdings comprising in all, 100 acres
and then obtained half of the remaining 540 acres left in that impor
tant section of land. Brickell likewise donated certain of his holdings
on the south side of the river. In return Flagler agreed to extend
the railroad from Palm Beach, to install a waterworks system, and to
make certain other civic improvements.
Surveyors came to Miami and later, in the railroad offices in St.
Augustine, A. L. Knowlton laid out the original townsite including
the narrow downtown streets that are now congested with the traffic
of a modern city. Men seeking employment drifted in from all
sections of the country, living in tents and hastily constructed shacks
until the work began.
The Tatum brothers acquired a tract of land on the south side
of the river opposite the point where Flagler Street ended and laid
out Miami s first subdivision in 1895, calling it Riverside.
52 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
The census of 1895 gave Dade County a population of 3,3 22
most of which was in the northern part. Many of Miami s early
pioneers did not arrive in the city until 1896 when the railroad be
came a certainty. The road was completed on April 15, and com
mercial service opened a week later. The first train consisted of a
wood-burning locomotive, a mail coach, baggage car, "first and
second class day coaches" and a chair car. There was no station,
only a platform, near where the News Tower now stands, with a
shack for a telegraph office at one end.
There were already several stores established in the area between
the railroad and the ferry which gave access to the post office in
Brickells store. The Sewells, John and Everest, arrived March 3,
and opened a shoe store in the old Miami Hotel Building on S. Miami
Avenue near the river. The hotel was a rough building erected to
house the men who were to work on the Royal Palm Hotel. The
next day J. E. Lummus opened a general store and shortly afterward
Frank Budge began a hardware business and Thomas Townley started
a drug store.
Miami Avenue was the first thoroughfare to be cut in accordance
with Knowlton s plan. Flagler Street was next and then Southwest
First and Second Streets followed by Southwest First and Second
Avenues running from Flagler Street to the river.
By May, 1,000 people were settled in shacks and tents built on
land that had lain waste since the days of energetic Richard Fitz-
patrick sixty years before. More people drifted in and stores and
rough buildings were hastily constructed until, at the end of the
year, 50 separate business establishments were in operation. One of
these enterprises was a newspaper, the Metropolis, which now known
as the Miami Daily News, is still published.
By midsummer of 1916 the population had increased to 1,500
some say to 3,000, too large a community to be without some form
of government; but it was not until July that leaders in the move
ment to create a city were able to round up the required number of
men who had the legal right to vote. On the 2 8th, 343 registered
voters met and elected Joseph A. McDonald, one of Flagler s lieuten
ants, chairman. The name of the city was adopted, the boundary
lines established, and an official seal approved. John B. Reilly was
elected mayor and Joseph A. McDonald, Walter S. Graham, William
M. Brown, Frederick J. Morse, Edward L. Brady, Daniel Cosgrove, and
Frank T. Budge were elected as aldermen. The city name narrowly
escaped being Dallas, Flagler, or Dade as there were vigorously pro
posed at the meeting but the electors deferred to the old timers who
insisted on the Indian name, Miami.
Sometime in the distant past this bit of territory was definitely
marked as an Indian camping ground. The late John Sewell, in his
Memoirs and History of Miami, Florida, relates that a large Indian
mound was removed to make room for Flagler s Royal Palm Hotel.
This mound, according to Sewell, was approximately 80 or 90 feet
high, and its base 100 x 75 feet. Under the trees growing on its
summit he found several graves and gathered the bones into barrels
which he stored in a safe place. Almost at ground level he found
50 or 60 skulls and a great number of large bones. He threw every
thing into barrels and later buried the lot on the outskirts of town.
A residence now marks this grave whose site Sewell never revealed.
While work on the hotel proceeded other civic movements were
afoot. There was no need now for the mail carrier, Ned Pont, of
Coconut Grove to make the arduous journey to Lake Worth each
week. The town now had its own post office, moved, by petition, to
the north banks so the people would not have to ferry across to
Brickell s store for their mail. The Metropolis began a campaign
for better streets, especially to the wharf on Biscayne Bay where the
then existing footpath "played havoc with patent leather shoes and
the bottoms of one s Sunday pants." Flagler Street was graded to
the bay and Second Avenue from Flagler to Southeast Second Street.
The closing days of the year were marked by a disastrous fire
which started Christmas morning in E. L. Brady s general store. There
was no fire-fighting apparatus. The blaze gained headway, ignited
the frame structure on the opposite side of the street and destroyed
all the buildings in the block.
Flagler cut a channel across the bay so that guests could bring
their yachts to the Royal Palm Hotel docks, and Miami experienced
its first tourist season as wealthy northerners spent the winter here.
Meanwhile a revolution was in progress in Cuba. General Weyler,
Spanish leader, had established concentration camps in which he
herded old men, women, and children, crowding them into wretched
quarters where they died by thousands. Indignation was running
high when on February 15, 1898, news came that the battleship
Maine had been sunk. Two months later, with the United States
at war with Spain, Admiral Cervera sailed from Cape Verde Islands
with a strong fleet bound for America.
The War Department sent seven thousand soldiers to Miami. An
attempt was made to build a fort in Brickell Hammock, but it was
never finished. The troops remained until fall, their presence a boon
to the city s too numerous merchants.
Soon after the soldiers were withdrawn a yellow fever epidemic
struck, the town was quarantined with armed volunteer guards patrol-
54 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
ling the city borders, and Government and State health officials took
charge. Out of 263 cases there were 14 deaths.
During 1898 Dan Roberts, with three companions, penetrated
the wilds south of Miami, paving the way for homesteaders in that
rich agricultural region that is now known as the Redlands. In
October the people of Lemon City had a ball to aid in "building the
Lemon City and Miami rock road now in the course of construction."
Scarcely more than two years old, Miami began to take its political
position in the county seriously.
In his History of Dade County, Florida, Tracy Hollingsworth
gives the various locations of the county seat as follows: Brickell
Point, Cape Florida, Fort Dallas, on Biscayne Bay between Buena
Vista and Lemon City, and in Juno. He might have added Indian
Key, Key West, and, about 1840, in whatever part of the country
W. C. Maloney, the county clerk, might happen to be. An election
held in 1888 gave Juno the preference and in March the records were
transported through the Everglades in an Indian canoe to the up-
county town where they were deposited in temporary quarters until
a courthouse could be built.
The State law specified that the location of the county seat could
not be moved more than once each decade and, with its growing
population, Miami decided to reclaim the seat it had lost ten years
before. This was accomplished and in 1899 the county records were
removed to Miami where they have remained.
Juno was never incorporated as a city. Back in the nineties, be
sides the county buildings, it boasted of seven dwellings, two board
ing houses, and a newspaper. The county offices were contained in
a white, two-story, frame building having three rooms on the first
floor. One was for the county tax collector, one was a law office,
and the third was used by the county judge and the clerk of the
court. The second floor was used as a court room. Nearby was the
county jail, a building 15x20 feet, having a few iron-barred cells.
At first, the county offices in; Miami were crowded in a frame
building near the river. The cell blocks at the Juno jail were loaded
on a barge, transported to the new county seat, and the jail was
erected on the northwest corner of the block where the present court
house now stands.
In 1901 the county floated a bond issue to finance the construc
tion of a new home but the offices remained in the old river warehouse
until 1904 when the large two-story stone building was built. On
January 23 of the previous year, Flagler deeded to the city the lots
on the south side of West Flagler Street east of the railroad for mu-
nicipal purposes. On this site the city erected a fire house in 1907
and, two years later, the old city hall.
The county courthouse, directly across Flagler Street, was already
crowded when the boom began, but it was not until September 6,
1928 that the new 28-story building was completed.
Four years after its incorporation, Miami took its first steps in
diversification of community interests. Lemon City and Buena Vista
were already being drawn into city life as a new coral rock road
made travel to the new community an easy matter. In 1900 the
30-year old settlement, Coconut Grove, was likewise drawn closer
to Miami as a new road was extended through the hammock jungles
on the south side of the city. The Married Ladies Afternoon Club
voted to contribute ten cents a week toward buying books for a read
ing room and laid the foundation for Miami s large public library of
today. The men found time to build a golf, course and organize a
club. During this first year of the new century the city s first Board
of Trade was organized.
The town grew slowly and, with men constantly seeking new
business locations, competition in all lines of endeavor became increas
ingly keen. On September 15, 1903, F. B. Stoneman began publica
tion of the Miami Evening Record, forerunner of the present Miami
Herald. In 1904 the city directory contained 256 pages, more than
200 of which were devoted to advertisements and "solid facts about
Miami." Even then the palm tree was used to symbolize Miami s
In the same year Miami staged a regatta in Biscayne Bay. The
Miami Choral Society gave its first concert, and over on Miami Beach,
the swampy island across the bay, Avery C. Smith built a bathing
Smith and a partner, James C. Warr, later organized the Biscayne
Navigation Company to take advantage of the five-dollar fare that
boat owners charged for transportation to the beach. Their boats,
the Lttsitania and Maurifan/a, largest in the Miami harbor, cheapened
the fare and helped popularize the South Beach.
A fire department was organized in 1899, and five years later
Henry Chase became the first paid fireman, receiving $45 a month,
and remaining on duty 24 hours a day. The equipment, an engine
and a hook and ladder, were pulled to the fire by volunteers whose
dress uniforms consisted of bright yellow bloomers, green jackets,
and red hats. The first motor-driven equipment was installed in
1911, when the personnel was increased to 12 men. The first serious
fire occurred in 1909 in the old Halcyon Hotel, where the damage
56 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
In 1909 Carrie Nation invaded the city in a whirlwind campaign
against alcohol. She charged county and city officials with slackness
in law enforcement and confronted them with a bottle of whiskey
bought in a saloon on the, Sabbath.
The liquor question had been a disturbing factor since May 1896
when the Lemon City "drys" wing succeeded in closing that com
munity s last saloon. Said the Metropolis: "The removal of all saloons
of our village of Lemon City to Miami is an accomplished fact, sig
nificant that there are not enough topers left to insure one a decent
living in that business." In 1913, six years before Congress adopted
the Eighteenth Amendment, Dade County voted dry by a vote of
976 to 860.
Meanwhile, the spiritual life of the community had become im
portant and several churches had been established. The First Presby
terian Church was organized in 1896, the first congregation meeting
in a tent-like building that served for several months as a common
shelter for other denominations soon organized. While the First
Presbyterian was the first church organized in the city, records in
the Gesu Catholic Church show the existence of a mission in 1874
at a place near Miami known as Wagner s Grove.
The present First Presbyterian Church was built on land donated
by Henry M. Flagler. The First Methodist Episcopal Church, now
the White Temple, was founded by the Reverend L. L. Fisher, district
presiding elder, who journeyed to Key West, missed his boat, and,
before the next boat sailed, organized the church installing Reverend
E. V. Blackman as pastor.
Churches increased in number as the city grew until prac
tically every faith, creed, and belief is now represented, from the
old established religious organizations to the obscure groups and cults
that are found in every large city.
The first church was established 14 years before Miami obtained
a permanent hospital. In 1910 a group headed by Father A. B.
Friend organized the Friendly Society and, by popular subscription,
raised funds for a small hospital unit. Promoted by Dr. C. J. Erick-
son, Theodore W. Jackson, and Frank B. Stoneman, this group secured
a lot on Biscayne Boulevard north of the News Tower and erected a
frame building accommodating three beds.
In 1912 the Friendly Society Hospital was incorporated as the
Miami City Hospital. It was moved to Northwest Seventeenth
Street and Tenth Avenue in 1917 and its capacity increased to 28
beds. In 1924, in recognition of his many years of service, the city
commission again changed its name to the James M. Jackson Memorial
Hospital. Additions have been made from time to time and the
hospital now contains over five hundred beds and each year treats
thirteen thousand patients, 60 per cent of them charity cases.
Growth of such institutions was accompanied by expansion in
other fields. The Florida East Coast Railway had its terminal in
Miami only a short time when its surveyors began exploring routes
through the lower part of the county and along the islands to Key
West. In 1903 the railroad was deep in the Homestead country and
in January 1912, Flagler rode the first train into the southernmost
city in the United States.
Henry M. Flagler once said there was only 24 miles of railroad
in the whole United States in 1830, the year of his birth in Hope,
near Canandaigua, New York. His father was a Presbyterian minister
receiving so small a salary that Henry had to leave school when he
completed the eighth grade.
At 14 he set out for the "Western Reserve," working his way
along the Erie Canal to Buffalo and thence to Sandusky, Ohio. He
drifted into Republic, Ohio, where he obtained work in a country
store for five dollars a month and board. He saved money, entered
the grain commission business at Bellevere, Ohio, and prospered. Later,
he failed in a salt manufacturing venture at Saginaw, Michigan, and
returned to Ohio, $40,000 in debt.
While in the grain commission business, he had transacted busi
ness with John D. Rockefeller, who, with a few associates, started
his first oil refinery at Cleveland. In 1867, when he built a second
refinery, Stephen Harkness backed Flagler as a member of the Rocke
feller group, a partnership that was closed in 1870 when the Standard
Oil Company was organized.
This was the foundation of Flagler s fortune. By 1883 he was
a wealthy man, past his fiftieth year, and ready to retire. In that
year he came to St. Augustine, where, impressed by the possibilities
for development, he began plans for a modern hotel to attract people
of means. As inadequate transportation facilities harassed h ; s build
ing program, Flagler purchased the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and
Halifax River Railway. During the years that followed, he built
other hotels along the east coast as his railroad was extended south
ward, and acquired great parcels of land. Flagler remained vital
and energetic until his death at Palm Beach in 1913. He was buried
in the mausoleum of the church in St. Augustine which he built in
memory of his daughter.
A month after Flagler s death, John S. Collins, then 76 years of
age, opened his 2-mile wooden bridge to Miami Beach. Two years
later saw the incorporation of a new city and the opening of the new
ship channel that was to make Miami s port dream a reality.
58 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
In 1917, shortly after the United States entered the World War,
Miami became a training center for three branches of the govern
ment s defense forces. Dinner Key, at Coconut Grove, was established
as a naval aviation base in 1917. The Navy operated an aerial bomb
ing training station on the bay shore opposite the Royal Palm Hotel
but when practice became annoying to guests the station was moved
to Deering Island. At the peak of its activity about one thousand
officers and men were stationed at Dinner Key. Five large hangars
in triple hangar units housed the flying equipment.
In 1918 the government obtained a field west of the Miami
Canal and south of the present 3 6th Street, from the Glenn H.
Curtiss Company, acquiring also the planes and equipment for the
training of aviators in the Marine Corps. A group of eight officers
and no men arrived in the first detachment from Bay Shore, Long
Island, and were later joined by groups from Lake Charles, Louisiana;
Pensacola, Florida; and Parris Island, South Carolina. Four squadrons
trained at this field were sent to France and another went to the
Azores. The field was returned to the Curtiss Company in 1919.
Chapman Field, which served as an army training base during
this time, was likewise abandoned at the close of the war, but was
reopened in 1931 and is used intermittently for gunnery practice.
As the twenties began Miami adopted the commission form of
government. Coral Gables opened as a carefully planned develop
ment; the first plat of Hialeah was drawn and the future town named.
The city s population now numbered over thirty thousand but many
vestiges of the village days still remained.
Chief among these relics was the electric utility sytem, which,
although it had been brought up to date a number of times, was still
inadequate. Between 1896 and 1899 several attempts were made to
promote an electric plant in Miami but it remained for Flagler to add
a 45-KW gasoline-driven generator to his hotel to supply the town
with electricity for street lights and private use. The gasoline engines
used were started by means of compressed air. Sometimes the supply
of air gave out before the engine started and neighbors were called
in to line up along the main drive belt. If the engine failed to start,
the few downtown streets remained in darkness.
A separate plant was built in 1904. Two generating units were
brought from a hotel at Nassau and installed in a building on the
site of the present power plant on the Miami River. This system
used cord wood or "four foot coal" as the Negro firemen called it.
When wood became difficult to obtain in 1913, a change was made
to coal supplied by schooner to Mayport, Florida, southeast of Jack
sonville at the mouth of the St. Johns River, and thence by rail to
Miami. The women of the town complained so loudly as the soot
soiled the Monday morning washing that in 1916 another change
was made to Mexican oil.
In bringing the electric light plant up-to-date little provision
was made for future expansion and many additions were made be
tween 1907, and 1925.
In 1919 criticism against the Flagler-owned utilities grew bitter
as electric and water service became more unsatisfactory. A storm
partially destroyed the station equipment in 1922, and as other acci
dents followed, the greater part of the city was for long periods
without lights. Two years later the American Power & Light Com
pany, with the approval of the city officials, leading bankers, and
business men, purchased the electric utilities in Miami, Miami Beach,
and near-by communities.
The year which marked the passing of the old Miami Electric
Light & Power Company was one of "loose" money and restless enter
prise. Miami s municipal advertising campaign which began in 1915
with a $1,900 fund was bringing phenomenal returns. Tourists,
promt to anticipate speculative opportunities, showed local residents
a few tricks in quick real estate profits and before the year was out
avid speculators had tacked an "easy money" sign on the map of
Dade County. In the mad rush that took place in the following
year many bankers and conservative business men took the plunge
into the maelstrom of business activity that ended in bankruptcy.
Following the World War, northern business men establishing
new shops and new homes in Miami created a definite market for
subdivision property, acreage close in at a reasonable figure. Even
as late as the midsummer of 1924 such land could be purchased at
two to five hundred dollars per acre. Operators and syndicates
opened elaborate ground floor offices on Flagler Street, hiring high-
pressure sales managers to train sales forces. Their success was so
spectacular that the demand for more subdivisions sent the prices of
land to two and three thousand dollars an acre. A year later land
six and eight miles beyond the city limits sold for twenty to twenty-
five thousand dollars per acre while desirable parcels brought as much
as forty thousand dollars. During that year, 1925, 971 subdivisions
were platted and 174,530 deeds and papers filed by the county clerk.
Building operations consumed 400 miles of awning material and
7,000 carloads of lumber as 481 hotels and apartments were built in
a i2-month period.
This extensive building program and influx of home buyers sent
the prices of business property rocketing as million-dollar deals be
came commonplace. Two and three-quarter millions were spent on
60 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
the Roosevelt Hotel whose unfinished hulk, a mile away from any
comparable structure, rises 14 stories from a maze of small shops and
stores that have sprung up at the end of the County Causeway.
Downtown, the Congress Building increased from 5 to 18 stories
at a cost of a million dollars. The Colonial Towers sold for $1,250,-
ooo and the Shoreland Arcade for 4 million dollars. A record was
established when the Charles Deering estate north of Buena Vista
sold for $6,500,000.
One of Miami s picturesque hotels, the Halcyon, begun in 1901
and enlarged and altered several times thereafter, was acquired by
Thomas J. Peters, one of Miami s pioneers, for $338,000 in 1911. He
refused an outright purchase offer of 5 million dollars for this prop
erty in 1924 and another in excess of 6 million dollars the next year.
His income from the hotel for the year ending April 30, 1926. was
$519,000 yet in 1934 the Halcyon went under the hammer and sold
Dade County narrowly escaped another fissure that year as a
cry arose for the creation of a Redlands County to include the farm
ing country below Miami and extending to the Keys but the proposal
was squelched. Miami Beach sought to absorb everything along the
seacoast from the Broward County line to the lower end of Virginia
Key but its northern ambitions were opposed by Miami Shores.
The Miami Jockey Club, built by Joe Smoot and his associates
was the subject of a proposed investigation into gambling conditions.
Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was refused a cabaret site downtown, because,
some said, it might hurt the community if she operated in the shadow
of the Halcyon Hotel, long thought of as a monument to its designer,
the dead Stanford White. William Jennings Bryan was receiving
$100,000 a year to deliver his sales lectures for "Miami s Master
Suburb," Coral Gables.
It was a year for innovations. Hollywood had its phosphores
cent golf ball course. The Postmaster General asked for bids on
the first air mail from Miami and word came that Henry Ford was
considering the operation of an air line to the city with his new
Meanwhile buyers and speculators continued to pour into the
city. The real estate market was a bedlam as salesmen literally
"sold each other." During 1925 Miami issued 7,500 real estate
licenses. The Seaboard Air Line Railway was unable to buy a right-
of-way into Miami until $1,500,000 in cash and land, the result of
a monster mass meeting of interested parties called by the Chamber
of Commerce, was given the railroad.
Toward the close of the year the Federal Reserve banks stiffened
Miami in the Making
111111 HI I
111 If II IB
n i in
n H n |S l!
81 II II H H
Bi n P n \n
ni n n i ii
n B ii i
n i n
n n K
ii n n
II II B5
n n n
I I I
i 1 1
ii ;l Ii
B ii n ii n
Dade County Courthouse . . . Miami
/liami-Biltmore Hotel . . . Coral Gables
Outdoor Classes . . . University of Miami
Center of Miami Beach . . Lincoln Road
Ocean Promenade . . . Miami Beach
v : -^^
Ancient Mangrove Tree . . . Biscayne Bay
their rediscount rates; the freight embargo continued, many financial
houses began curtailing their loans. Some operators found themselves
obligated for large income tax returns on profits which were still on
paper which the banks now refused to handle.
By spring 1926 the boom was definitely over, despite the pro
motion efforts that featured Mary Garden in a grand opera presenta
tion held in a tent. But signs of prosperity and progress were still
everywhere in evidence. Hundreds of structures were completed
and 21 millions of dollars in new building work was under way. The
million dollar senior high school and the Southern Baking Company s
million dollar plant were both about completed. A paving company
was laying 2 million dollars worth of new streets for the expanding
In September real estate men were still hopeful. The Tamiami
Trail across the State was being rushed to completion. Two huge
dredges were already in the bay preparing to work on a new channel
and harbor. Everywhere were signs of continued activity. Miami
citizens were only vaguely interested when, on September 17, a hurri
cane was reported off Turk s Island and headed for the mainland.
A gale hit the city that afternoon. As darkness closed in the
storm was over Nassau and, rushing westward, it struck the Florida
coast soon after midnight, closing in on city after city with a force
and fury no newcomer believed possible.
The first onslaughts demolished the power lines and plunged the
city in darkness. The gale whipped weather-recording instruments
from their moorings, scattered lumber piles like so much kindling,
and tore at concrete-block buildings. For nearly eight hours the
wind and rain poured over the city. Day broke and citizens saw
vacant lots where their neighbors houses had been. Fallen trees,
limbs, bits of lumber and other debris^ Uttered the streets; all shrub
bery was blasted and stripped of its leaves.
Abruptly the wind and rain stopped. The barometer stood at
27.75 inches, the lowest ever recorded in the city. People were not
then acquainted with the character of tropical hurricanes. They did
not know that the "core" or "eye" of the storm, then passing over,
was a sharply edged disc of dead calm, or that the concave form of
this disc armed with teeth of typhonic winds was racing toward them.
They left their home to view the wreckage, to salvage their scattered
belongings, or to see how friends or relatives had survived the storm.
Then without warning the hurricane struck again. The wind
that blew from the north in the van of the advancing storm was now,
on the eastern side of the gigantic storm disc, blowing from the
south. Debris that had settled in spots sheltered from the north wind
62 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
was picked up and rained like bullets upon unfortunate travelers.
Buildings, strained and weakened from the first attack, especially the
hurriedly and cheaply constructed affairs thrown up in the height of
the boom, collapsed like matchwood. The wind tore them in pieces
and hurled the parts against other buildings to create still more
damage. One man reported seeing 32x4 driven, like a stake,
through a 1 2-inch oak tree. The downtown streets were covered
with broken glass, brick, mortar, and cement blocks.
Late in the afternoon the storm passed. People again crept
from their shelters to view the havoc. There was no power, lights,
telegraph, telephone, or other means of communication, and no water.
Sunday morning a makeshift radio station was set up where the
439-foot steel towers of the Tropical Radio station had blown down.
A message was relayed to the outer world through a passing ship.
Headlines on newspapers throughout the Nation screamed of the death
and disaster that had swept South Florida in the greatest catastrophe
since the San Francisco earthquake.
Before count of the dead or estimate of damage could be made,
donations for relief began to pour in to the Red Cross and cooperat
ing agencies. The Red Cross received more than 3 million dollars.
William R. Hearst sent a special train with one hundred doctors,
nurses, and engineers into the storm area. The late President Machado
sent a gunboat from Havana with a detail of doctors. The National
Guard moved in but there was remarkably little looting and no need
for martial law.
In Dade County 113 known dead were recovered and 854 were
treated in hospitals. In Miami two thousand homes were destroyed
and three thousand damaged. Damage along the water front was
particularly severe as warehouses and piers were leveled. The two
big dredges about to commence work on the harbor-deepening pro
gram, were on the bottom of the bay. Nearly 140 boats at anchor
in the harbor and in the Miami River were aground.
Nearby towns fared no better. At Fort Lauderdale twelve
hundred homes were destroyed, and thirty-six hundred were damaged.
At Hollywood one thousand homes were gone and two thousand
were in need of repairs. Miami Beach suffered most from damaged
gardens and from 2 to 4 feet of sand the storm left lying in the
streets. Coral Gables suffered least of all.
Recovery was rapid as citizens committees took charge of resto
ration with "dictatorial" powers in districts allotted them in accord
ance with plans developed by Governor John W. Martin and Mayor
E. C. Romfh. In ten days the National Guard was disbanded and
the citizens committees surrendered the powers that had been con-
ferred upon them. The city, declared a press statement, had returned
The season that followed was one of bitterness and disappoint
ment. Tourists were definitely afraid of south Florida and many
stayed away. Those who did come saw the scars that remained. The
set-back was a terrific shock. For years mention of the word "boom"
was taboo. City publicity pamphlets and Chamber of Commerce
bulletins, for almost a decade, were hard pressed for cheery and pro
pitious material. Building construction diminished rapidly while the
permanent population, based on school enrollment figures, somehow
continued to grow. Taxes became increasingly difficult to collect but
the city officials were reluctant to admit a collapse in realty values
or make adjustments in assessments.
The assessed valuation of property declined from a high of
$389,648,391 in 1926 to $317,675,298 in 1928. These figures
dropped to $167,519,892 in 1929, and sank to $97,871,000 in 1934.
Miami, however, had one asset that no man-made institution nor
blunder could destroy: its climate had not changed. Moreover, the
foundation of a great city was already well laid. Dwindling property
values had neither chilled Miami winters nor had the hurricane leveled
its well-constructed buildings.
Under the leadership of the older residents, the city pulled itself
together. It continued to spend large amounts for advertising. There
was a steady trickle of business and some progress. Even in 1932
building permits totaled $1,067,427, and by 1934 they increased to
$2,896,471. Tourist travel continued to mount.
Much credit may be ascribed to enterprises, started long before
and completed during this period. During 1928 and 1929 inter-
ocean mail and passenger air service was extended to Latin-American
countries. The new Tamiami Trail tapped other tourist cities on
the West Coast. The Greater Miami Airport Association was estab
lished at the time as was the All American Air Meet which now brings
approximately one thousand planes to the city each year.
In 1931 horse-racing was resumed as Hialeah and Tropical Parks
were opened to the public. Chapman Field, which had served as an
army base during the World War, was reopened. The growing Pan
American Airways opened lines that touched the capitals and principal
cities of South America making Miami that year second only to New
York as an American port of entry.
Some of the long distressed property began to change hands on
a still depressed market; by 1935 there was a decided upward swing
in real estate sales and men began satisfying city tax liens with city
bonds then selling at approximately 50 per cent of face value. Tax
64 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
sharks set up offices, bought tax certificates, and foreclosed on prop
erty which they sacrificed on a steadily rising market.
On, Labor Day a hurricane swept Florida keys killing between
three and four hundred veterans and civilians, most of whom were
employed in the construction of the Overseas Highway. About one
hundred bodies in plain, unpainted wooden boxes, were brought to
Miami for burial when health officials banned further importation.
Relief parties continued to find bodies and down on Matecumbe
the pile of coffins mounted higher and higher under the blazing sun,
and toward the end of the search, identification of remains became
One Sunday afternoon, in the midst of a solemn gathering, a
Protestant minister, a Catholic priest, and a Jewish rabbi, stood before
the long stack of coffins. Together they read the funeral services for
the dead of their faiths. Gasoline was poured over the gigantic pyre,
and a great pillar of black smoke leaped up to darken the afternoon
sun. Matecumbe, well named by the Indians as a "place of weeping,"
had again taken its toll of human lives.
Early in November Miami was visited by another hurricane that
passed over in a few hours. Few people were injured. Most of the
damage was to trees and shrubbery; the streets were cleared in a few
days. Many citizens said the coming tourist season was killed and
that the real estate market would be wrecked for that year; but
Miami, Miami Beach, and Coral Gables enjoyed their best season since
In the four years since 1935, more than 100 million dollars
were spent in building. Vast improvements were made as merchants
installed modernized store fronts. One large industrial firm erected a
1 6-story office structure; and more than ten thousand new residences
Miami s progress was largely determined by its geographical posi
tion, its resources, and the aggressiveness of its developers. Julia
Tuttle thought Miami might become the center of a great citrus
producing area. The Brickells hoped to make the city the center of
a cigar manufacturing industry. Even Flagler visioned it as a small
winter resort, and was reluctant to install improvements needed by
the expanding population. Since that time various groups have
sought to make Miami an aviation center, a seaport to handle South
American goods, and an American Monte Carlo.
Each of these groups has had some measure of success, and their
combined efforts have overcome many obstacles.
CULTURAL LIFE OF MIAMI
MIAMI S lusty youth and boisterous sports life are a product
of the crude frontier life it has so recently left behind. The
city s swift rise from a small country town to metropolitan
proportions tends to obscure a concomitant cultural life that man
ages to flourish in the midst of a continually shifting and hetero
Most of Miami s citizens were reared in other states and coun
tries; they have not only a wide diversity of social inheritances but
they come to Miami for many different ends and purposes. Every
thing is too new and the people are too lately met to have developed
a characteristic form of thought or expression. Many newcomers
found clubs and societies the only outlet for their thoughts and
energies. These organizations multiplied so fast that today approx
imately 500 of one kind or another exist in the city and from them
a distinctive community spirit is slowly but surely developing.
The first of these, The Housekeeper s Club, organized in 1891
in Coconut Grove, is still in existence. It is chiefly recreational in
It is doubtful if any organization is more deserving of public
recognition than The Miami Woman s Club. Founded in 1900 as the
Married Ladies Afternoon Club, the members used their weekly dues
of 10 cents to buy books for the use of the circle. In three years they
accumulated nearly 1,000 volumes and, in 1905, opened a public read
ing room. It became known as the Woman s Club of Miami on May
7, 1906. Henry M. Flagler gave the club a tract of land and they
opened a public library in their own building there in 1913. A year
later the city made an annual appropriation to assist in its main
The activities of the club provided trees for school yards, tuber
culosis relief, canning clubs, better baby contests, domestic science
classes, and making hospital supplies for soldiers. It also sponsored
lectures, chautauquas, and concerts.
Having outgrown their quarters, the Flagler estate permitted
them to dispose of their downtown building and erect a larger one at
Northeast Seventeenth Terrace where their library has grown to more
than 40,000 volumes. They maintain scholarships at the University
of Miami, sponsor art exhibits, foster various club programs, and are
66 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
interested in legislative measures for the welfare of women and
children. The name of the organization was changd to The Miami
Woman s Club in 1925.
Another vital group, the Parent-Teacher Association of Dade
County, organized in 1920, includes 51 individual associations with a
total active membership of approximately 11,000. It watches educa
tional progress and keeps a jealous eye on child welfare. In 1938 it
began the acquisition of a library on vocational subjects for the junior
and senior high schools.
In addition to these, Miami has a number of clubs whose para
mount interest lies in civic issues. Combined, they are a formidable
group and a moving force in community life.
Miami is the cradle of the Florida Association of Music Clubs,
organized in 1917. Among them are the Miami Music Club, sponsor
ing civic music concerts and the Tuesday Morning Club, a self-sup
porting organization of limited membership but with wide social con
nections. Mana Zucca, who began her career at the age of four in
Berlin s famous Bechstein Hall, is the founder of a club bearing her
own name and has for its purpose the encouragement of local talent.
The Cardinal Club is unusual in that its membership is limited to
music lovers of 70 years or more.
The University of Miami Symphony Orchestra was long under
the direction of the late Dr. Arnold Volpe, pupil of Leopold Auer of
the Imperial Conservatory at St. Petersburg. Guest artists appearing
with the orchestra include Mischa Elman, Abram Chassins, Josef
Hoffman, and the Westminster Choir. Other university musical or
ganizations are the symphony band, the Aeolian Chorus, and a string
Among the bands, orchestras, choral organizations, and other
musical groups, Miami has its American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps
and a Junior Chamber of Commerce Drum and Bugle Corps. Both
groups have been under the direction of Caesar La Monica who, for
more than ten years, has also directed the open-air band concerts at
The Miami WPA Music Project provides instruction for under
privileged children and its orchestra gives three programs each week.
Two are sponsored by the City of Miami and one by City of Miami
Miami s musical history would be incomplete without some men
tion of the Seminoles. Little has been written into music depicting
their courageous, persevering life or their folklore. Efforts have been
made to secure and preserve the songs of the Seminole but very little
has actually been accomplished. Minnie Moore Willson obtained some
CULTURAL LIFE OF MIAMI 67
of their songs after long years of studying the Indians near her home
in Kissimmee, Florida, and Frances Densmore obtained a number of
phonograph recordings during her work for the Smithsonian Institu
Mrs. Minnie March began teaching music the same year that the
railroad reached Miami. Even before that Kirk Munroe, writer of
boys stories, had settled with his wife, daughter of Amelia Barr, in
Coconut Grove. From his pen we have his historical work, The
Flamingo Feather (1887), The Coral Ship (1893); Through Swamp
and Glade (1913).
Even earlier in time of arrival was Ralph Middleton Munroe
whose life is so intimately connected with the early history of the
Grove. Collaborating with Vincent Gilpin, he wrote The Commo
dore s Story (1930), an autobiography portraying the romantic be
ginning of the Grove and the people who made it the interesting place
it is today.
Charles Torrey Simpson who made his home in the Little River
section of Miami was a naturalist and the author of a number of books
dealing with the south Florida peninsula.
Dr. John C. Gifford wrote an historical study of the Seminoles
entitled Billy Bowlegs and the Seminole War (1925), and The Re
habilitation of the Florida Keys (1934) and other essays, all studies of
local natural life. ,
Isidor Cohen, John Sewell, and Tracy Hollingsworth, at different
times, have each written a book dealing with the life and history of
Dade County and Miami.
Natalie Grimes Lawrence is noted for her one-act plays, Galapay-
gos and Hurricane (1931), both of which have been produced on the
Vivian Yeiser Laramore, poet laureate of Florida, published her
collection of Poems Inspired by Florida in 1932. She is also compiler
of Florida Poets, in several volumes.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, short-story writer, published her O.
Henry memorial prize story, "He-Man," in 1927. One of her more
recent stories, based on the hurricane which swept the keys in 1935,
is "September Remember."
Other authors and lecturers who have made their winter homes
in Dade County are Damon Runyon, Hervey Allen, Padraic Colum
and his wife, Mary Colum, Eunice Tietjens, George Kibbe Turner,
Bonnie Busch, and the late Floyd Gibbons.
The National League of American Penwomen, with local head
quarters at Miami Beach, includes a membership roster of many ad
68 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Miami s theatrical history contains no names of glorious memory.
When the city became large enough to support a theater the legitimate
stage was already giving way before mechanized entertainment. The
few feeble attempts to establish a legitimate theater in Miami came to
naught and today, except for a few locally sponsored plays, vaudeville
or revue, the motion picture theater holds the field.
Theatrical history goes back to 1896 when a local group essayed
the production of minstral shows in an old shack grandiloquently
called "Budge s Opera House." A more suitable structure, Trout s
Opera House," was later erected near Northeast First Street and
Miami Avenue. The reason for its failure is not recorded but it is
possible that, at the time, Miami was too far from regular booking
circuits to secure good talent.
In 1906 a Mr. Kelly opened a movie theater in the Hatchet
Building on East Flagler Street. Not far away W. F. Miller and C. O.
Richardson opened another, named the "Alcazar." Miller filled the
space beneath the floor of his building with ice and tried to make his
theater comfortable by forcing cool air through it with the aid of
electric fans, Miami s first air-conditioned structure. Miller went out
of business when Kelly succeeded in introducing vaudeville shows,
but competition immediately entered the field as Henry Chase opened
a movie on Northeast First Avenue.
In 1,908 Kelly opened "The Gertie Reynolds," soon afterward
acquired by James McQuade, wealthy Miamian and husband of the
popular actress, Gertie Reynolds, for whom the theater was named.
There, among others, the Pickerts, a traveling family stock troupe,
presented plays for a time but the competition from the movies was
too strong. The Pickerts, on retiring from the stage, returned to
south Florida to make their home on Miami Beach.
With the field cleared the movie theaters entered upon a little
war of their own with one operator giving away pianos and auto
mobiles. It was an era of experimentation and progress; playhouses
were crude and uncomfortable, camera technique and film reproduc
tion far from perfect, and the delivery of films made schedules difficult
to maintain. As the city grew and lost its rustic attributes, the
theaters, adopting a new psychology, became more sophisticated in
point of appearance and comfort. Saturday and Sunday, particularly
Sunday night, attendance became so marked that a protest arose from
Miami pulpits. The protest changed to an attack as waiting lines of
movie patrons blocked the sidewalks on Sunday nights. The fight
swelled to a crusade and the churches, for a time, succeeded in closing
the theaters but they were eventually permitted to reopen. Miami s
CULTURAL LIFE OF MIAMI 69
present richly appointed, air-conditioned motion picture theaters with
their luxurious lounges, fortune-telling nooks and coffee patios are a
far cry from the sweat boxes of a quarter century ago.
During the twenties a group of theater lovers founded the Civic
Theater of Greater Miami. Its first president was Henry Salem Hub-
bell and its membership included Ruth Bryan Owen, Willard Hubbell
and wife, Daniel Frohman, Edgar Lee Hay, and Marjory Stoneman
Douglas. The association produced plays until 1934. The Miami
Players present legitimate plays in the city today.
The theater people have their organized group, the Actor s and
Showman s League of Miami, formed in 1935, with headquarters at
the Chess Club, and a membership of more than 300.
Miami s painters and sculptors have their own center in the
Academy of Arts. Many galleries and collections are available to
tourists but a few are not open to the public.
Two of the most popular exhibition points in the Miami area are
the Miami Art Center, and the Coral Gables Art Center of the WPA
Florida Art Project.
The Miami Art League permits both professionals and students
to meet in one group and paint from life models. The Thursday
Sketching Club is open to all artists.
Among Miami artists are: Denman Fink, portraits, murals, illus
trator, and Henry Salem Hubbell and C. Chandler Ross, portraits;
Gustav Bohland, sculpture; Mrs. Gustav Bohland (Aileen Parnell),
sculptor; Mrs. Spencer Kennard, miniaturist; William Wood, water
color portraiture; Will Grefe, magazine illustrator; Richard Merrick,
etchings; Cora Parker, painter of gardens; Lewis Painter Clephane,
painter; Ralph H. Humes, sculptor; Jean Jacques Pfister, painter; Carl
Campbell, flower painter; Dumain Weaver, painter; Louise Zaring,
painter; Dewing Woodward, founder and president emeritus of the
Blue Dome Fellowship, internationally honored in portraits and murals.
Gustav Bohland, a Bohemian by birth, is not only a sculptor, but
a metal craftsman and a writer. His love for nature brought him to
Mrs. Myrtle Taylor Bradford, who received international recog
nition for her paintings and poems, is State art chairman of the Florida
Federation of Women s Clubs.
IN THE early eighties, the State, superintendent of schools assigned
a teacher to the section of Dade County rather vaguely described
as the Biscayne Bay region. The teacher traveled from place to
place teaching the children in their homes, and was paid $40 a month.
The first organized school established in the Biscayne Bay region
started with 10 pupils at Coconut Grove in 1886. Mrs. Henrietta
Trapp was the teacher. The first term was held in a one-room log
cabin, the property of Samuel Rhodes. Pupils were later transferred
to a small frame building which is still in existence.
In 1887 or 1888 a school taught by Harlan Trapp was opened
in Lemon City, now a part of Miami.
Miami proper established its first public school sometime during
the winter of 1895-96 at the corner of Northeast First Avenue and
Third Street with an enrollment of about twenty pupils. Prof. R. E.
McDonald was the principal.
The Biscayne school, a short distance north of Lemon City, was
opened during the same year. Mr. F. Page Wilson, the first super
visor of this school said, "The district was organized but it would
scarcely do, in an official report, to describe the exact methods by
which an eager community met the legal requirements for a new
The determination of early citizens to provide educational facili
ties for their children is illustrated in the story of Captain C. J. Rose
who came from Ohio in 1891 to take up a homestead in the territory
west of Miami, where a little community sprang into being. Their re
quest for a school was granted when the required ten children were en
rolled, but as there was some delay, the captain and his neighbors se
cured driftwood from the beach and built their own school house.
At that time the country about Miami was wild and undeveloped.
One Miami teacher in Coconut Grove "toted" a pistol because of the
prevalence of panthers in Brickell Hammock through which she
passed each morning on her way to the schoolhouse.
In addition to a few simple books, the standard equipment in
those early schools included a leather strap, a shotgun, a bottle of am
monia, and a jug of whiskey. The whiskey was used for emergency
treatment of snake bites; the shotgun to scare off inquisitive tramps
or prowling Indians. Ammonia is a long-standing remedy for the re-
lief of scorpion stings while the leather strap, probably because it made
more noise, was thought more effective than the well-known "hickory
stick" for enforcing discipline.
The establishment of these first schools marked the beginning of
a long series of difficulties brought about by the rapidly increasing
population. Hurriedly constructed buildings were overcrowded from
the date of their opening, particularly during the boom. Twenty-six
schools for white children and six for colored, were erected between
1923 and 1926. In addition, the school board provided 150 one-room
portable schools at various locations to take care of the 1925 increases.
Attendance during that period rose from 11,733 m J 9 2 3 to 3 I >77 m
The county began the year 1939 with an estimated enrollment
of 46,000 pupils, 1,345 teachers and 89 schools including, for white
children, 45 elementary schools, 16 junior high schools and seven
senior high schools; for negro children, 14 elementary schools, six
junior high schools, and one senior high.
Cafeterias operate in 53 public schools under the auspices of the
local Parent-Teacher Association units. Heavy duty equipment is
furnished by the school board while the P.T.A. supplies utensils and
tableware and is required to operate on a nonprofit basis and without
expense to the school tax funds.
One of the difficulties facing the city schools is that of providing
facilities for children of tourists. In midwinter months of each
school year approximately four thousand additional pupils must be
enrolled and assigned to proper grades. In Miami Beach during 1935-
36, the opening enrollment was 1,185 an d the closing, 1,322, but at
one time 2,184 students attended school. Nonresident pupils in the
county are required to pay a tuition fee to provide funds for the hire
of substitute teachers.
Schools operate on the six-three-three plan. Elementary schools
care for children of the first six grades. Pupils remain in one room
throughout the day and receive instruction from one teacher. Junior
high schools are departmental. The day is divided into six periods and
the students pass from one classroom to another for instruction in
their various subjects. In the seventh and eighth grades pupils follow
a definite course of required studies but in the ninth grade certain
courses are elective.
Ninth grade credits are transferred to the senior high school and
included in requirements for graduation. High scholastic standards
are rigidly maintained and student graduates are accepted by prac
tically all standard universities in the United States.
Specialization is a marked feature of every high school. Miami
72 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
Edison High School has a successful radio department, a boatbuilding
department, and an agricultural department with a nursery which
supplies a great number of plants and shrubs used for beautifying
school grounds throughout the country.
Miami Senior High School, one of the largest in Florida, is the
only local school having a printing department. Its newspaper, the
Miami High Times, has for eight consecutive years won first place in a
national contest sponsored by Columbia University.
Besides these public schools in Dade County, there are four
parochial schools with an enrollment of more than two thousand pupils
and about 35 other private schools offering instruction in art, beauty
culture, business subjects, dancing, dramatics, music, as well as ele
mentary subjects and college preparatory courses.
The latter guarantee the tourist pupil a minimum loss of time
arising from transfers from home schools. This is made possible by
personal supervision, home textbooks, home tests arranged by the in
structors and returned to home schools for grading and recording.
Many of these schools feature out-of-door classes when weather con
ditions are favorable. Students pursue their regular studies gathered
in small groups about tables protected from the sun by large, bright
The University of Miami, a co-educational institution chartered
in March, 1925, opened in October, 1926, with a boom-time endow
ment of $8,500,000. Much of this endowment was lost in the de
pression years that followed and, when one creditor entered suit to col
lect his debt, the university was saved from extinction by the appoint
ment of a Federal receiver. Later, the university purchased its assets
when they were sold by the receiver.
During those precarious years the university established a sound
position for itself in the community and its enrollment steadily in
creased until, with a student body of over thirteen hundred members,
it has become the third largest college in the State. It consists of a
college of liberal arts and four schools, granting degrees in education,
business administration, law, and music.
Most of the work is conducted in the University Administration
Building, a large three-story, triangular building originally designed
for a hotel, which contains the offices, class-rooms, laboratories,
studios, an auditorium, a theatre workshop and other facilities for
students. The university also owns a number of near-by buildings
used as dormitories, and a loo-acre tract of land, acquired for future
Features, noteworthy in a college of its size, are a law library con
taining more than twelve thousand volumes, and a smaller library on
Pan-American affairs and relationships widely used by the student
International Relations Club, sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace.
The university maintains a keen interest in promoting closer
business and cultural relations with Central and South American Re
publics and has arrangements with several of their universities where
by an interchange of students is effected. In the school of business
administration, the department of Latin-American Relations provides
intensive training for those students who plan to establish future con
nections in these countries.
Among the courses offered in this department are: South Amer
ican History, Latin American History, Latin American Heroes, Span
ish-American Colonial History, Latin American Relations, Latin
American Culture, Survey of Spanish Literature, History of Caribbean
Countries, Latin American Comparative Constitutional Government
and Institutions, International Law, Latin American Literature, Eco
nomic Geography of South America, Latin American Diplomatic Re
lations, Economic Legislation of South America, Latin American
Political institutions, Spanish Civil Government, and others.
In addition to special courses supplementing the regular courses
in the Spanish language, the university has, on its resident faculty
staff, several outstanding educators and statesmen from various Latin
Further efforts to promote good will and understanding between
the people of our two continents is evident in the success of a Pan
American Forum, or Institute, conducted at the university for several
weeks each winter.
AGRICULTURE IN DADE COUNTY
WITH the exception of the metropolitan area, Dade County is
essentially agricultural. The jungle of the early days ham
mock and glade matted with tough trailing vines, mangrove
swamp and forest has given way to long plowed furrows; fields of
green foodstuffs; citrus groves, and acres of tomatoes.
Not only can south Florida produce almost anything that can be
grown, but it produces much that is grown in other sections at a time
when most fields are bare. Because of its latitude Dade County is
protected against sudden temperature changes by the Atlantic Ocean
and the Gulf of Mexico, and becomes an all-year growing section.
This enables the grower to produce marketable crops with but little
competition, and to realize more than a normal income from this off
Of the 1,412,480 acres in the county, 64,254 are farm lands with
approximately 44, 259 acres under actual cultivation. Soil types may
be roughly divided into four classifications: pine lands, marl prairie,
the black muck of the Everglades, and hammock.
The county s scattered pineland soils are responsive, and with
ample rains, a little skill and some fertilizer, the grower may expect
to obtain the soil qualities he desires. In the Redlands District, in south
Dade County, the pineland soil, of firm, iron content, red-clay con
sistency, is admirably adapted to all kinds of finer citrus growing,
tropical fruits, and general farm products. All of this section is
underlaid by limestone rock, difficult to blast and clear, but yielding
a soil which resists acidity and conserves both moisture and fertilizer.
The prairie acres, so long considered worthless, now embrace thou
sands of acres of finest tomato-growing soil, which is composed of
marl, sand, loam, and these in various stages of combination. Man
ganese, added to the fertilizer on some of these lands, acts as a sort of
catalyzing agent, releasing fertility otherwise held dormant.
Perhaps no land has been so misunderstood as the muck of the
Everglades, the prevailing peat soil over approximately five million
acres in the Glades. This soil is the result of the decay, through
thousands of years, of sawgrass and other aquatic vegetation, plus a
small quantity of fish and other animals. Today, under a system of
drainage and water control, 64,259 of these acres have been put under
cultivation, principally in sugarcane, winter vegetables, and straw-
AGRICULTURE IN DADE COUNTY 75
berries. Under proper conditions the soil is surprisingly productive,
much of it replanted year after year without much fertilizing.
Hammock is the Florida name for a jungle of hardwood trees and
the enriched land built up from their foliage decay. This soil has been
found to be richer than most of the upland soil, most available tracts
probably being on the keys. Some of the finest hammock land in the
State along the shore of Biscayne Bay has been cut up for building
As suggested by the wide range of these soils, from the thin
sandy pineland to the moist prairie and rich organic muck, a great
variety of crops are grown. The number will be increased with fuller
control of water conditions on the low lands and with more extended
knowledge. This is still a new country; its agriculture presents diffi
culties and problems quite unknown elsewhere, and there has been as
yet no time for the standardization of aims and methods attained in
Dade County has been aptly called the Land of the Tomato
Kings. Approximately 20,861 acres are given over to this crop, with
an estimated net value of $2,509,800. The average cost of raising to
matoes is put by the large growers at about $125 per acre. Average
yields may be stated at two hundred crates per acre, and the profits
range from one hundred dollars to three or four times that amount.
The crop movement of a tomato district will average one hundred
cars per day during the season s peak.
Beans rank next to tomatoes in importance. It is a quick crop,
coming to maturity in six to eight weeks. While hampers have brought
$1.50 and more, an average all-season price may be quoted at $i and
the yield 125 hampers per acre, with growers using good brands of
fertilizer doing considerably better. Like most other crops, beans need
spraying as a protection against disease and pests, and on large fields
this is sometimes accomplished by airplane.
Not so many years ago it was popularly supposed that the or
dinary Irish potato would not grow in Dade County. Now, in one
marl prairie section in the south end of the country there are 8,640
acres averaging a yield of 192 bushels, grading 80 to 85 per cent No.
I s and coming in two or three weeks ahead of the north Florida crop.
Peppers, a good crop under favorable conditions, are harvested from
early December until late May. Cabbage, cucumbers, egg plants,
chayotes (a tropical perennial form of climbing squash) and prac
tically all the other usual vegetables are grown both for home con
sumption and shipment.
Long ago, Dade County won its fame in grapefruit production
and continues to carry the honors. The season is about three weeks
76 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
ahead of other localities with no disastrous freeze ever recorded. In
the Redlands Section where the water is close to the surface, it is not
uncommon to gather the last of the passing crop a few weeks before
the new crop is ready to be picked.
Some of Florida s finest grapefruit, along with other citrus fruits,
many of which are scarcely known to the outside market, are grown
in the Redlands region.
In one experimental grove, a fine seedless grapefruit is being de
veloped with seven distinct varieties of orange, the choicest being the
Valencia. With larger and richer Persian limes, and Perrine lemons,
many other cross-fruits are being developed.
Notable among the various crosses are the King of Siam orange,
the tangerine, the pineapple orange, Temple orange, Lue Gim Gong
orange, the kumquat, Thompson and Foster grapefruit, and many
others. On a six-in-one grafted tree may be found six highly cul
tivated varieties of orange and grapefruit.
Orange groves are scattered through most parts of Dade County,
the fruit noted for its thin skin, superior flavor, and extreme juiciness.
Marketing may begin as early as September, with about five per cent
of the crop moving in October, and the remainder going to market
from November to February. It is usually shipped in carload lots or
entire train shipments. With improved refrigeration on steamships,
there has been a steady increase in water shipments. Dade County
is concentrating on the production of limes and lemons. These fruits
are susceptible to the slightest cold and grow best in a subtropical
Strawberries are an example of northern fruit which is grown
successfully in south Florida with a simple shift of season. It proves
a most profitable cultivation from December to June. The soil on
which strawberries are grown in this area is a firm marl or muck. Some
phenomenal yields have recorded 10,000 quarts to the acre, but a fair
average is around 2,500 quarts. An interesting feature of strawberry
growing in the Miami area is a "skyscraper" arrangement whereby
the berries grow out of holes, tier on tier, in barrels or concrete con
tainers that not only conserve space but produce clean, luscious fruit
free from sand or other impurities.
The Florida banana is undergoing scientific treatment in some
groves in the county, especially with a view to lessening its starch
content, but it is not grown commercially.
Many of the tropical fruits of the region have been introduced
from the Orient, where for ages they have been staples. South Florida
has many groves of the avocado, or alligator pear, a well-balanced,
nutritious, easily digested food. Several of the finest varieties orig-
AGRICULTURE IN DADE COUNTY 77
inated in Dade County, now the site of the largest groves and most
persistent development. By careful selection of successive varieties,
it is possible to enjoy the fruit practically every month in the year.
The aristocratic mango is largely confined to Dade County, and
local demand so far exceeds the supply that little of this fruit finds
its way to outside markets. The choicest and most delicious variety
is the Haden, which originated in this area.
The rapid-growing papaya, superficially described as "a melon
that grows on a tree," is one of the most luscious of all tropical fruits.
Both leaves and fruit contain a high percentage of vegetable pepsin of
remarkable digestive and medicinal properties. The life span of a
tree is two or three years, but it is not uncommon for a single tree to
yield 150 to 300 pounds of fruit during its first year.
From the sapodilla tree comes chicle of commerce, the basic
principle of chewing gum. This russet-skinned, sweet-flavored fruit,
spinning from a long, thread-like stem, is popular on local fruit stands.
The guava, Carissa, Surinam (bright-wrinkled) cherry, and rose
apple, equally delectable to eye and taste, are among the fruits grown
on a small scale, chiefly for preserves and jelly.
There are dozens of other similar fruits in the Miami area, some
of which have been cultivated with encouraging results. The region is
the site of two important institutions; the United States Plant Intro
duction Gardens at Chapman Field, which tests new plants and trees,
and the State Tropical Experimental Station in the Redlands, which
demonstrates the best grove methods for those now in cultivation.
A large number of rapid-growing fibers thrive in south Florida.
Ramie, from which the Egyptians made mummy wrappings four
thousand years ago, is eight times stronger than cotton and can be
spun much finer. Its cost of production is less than that of any
fiber known. Flax and sisal also can be grown here.
Dairymen in the Miami area face a problem in the production of
forage crops to replace beet pulp and other imported bulk feeds. This
situation is being overcome as experiments continue with grasses,
which have grown for ages in other tropical countries, and thrive here.
They include Para, Napier, Merker, Sudan, Bermuda, Johnson, Natal,
and Japanese cane. These crops need little care and some attain a
height of 10 to 12 feet. Soilage crops include cane, corn, and beets
with a few attempts at ensilage. Beets range from 20 to 30 tons per
acre, cane from 25 to 30, and corn from 10 to 20 tons per acre.
Summer crops include Higiri, corn, millet, cow peas, soy beans, and
About sixty dairies, some of them with large purebred herds,
supply the cities of Dade County with high-grade milk. A difficult
78 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
problem is presented by the wide margin between normal consumption
and the peak of the winter season. Another is the fact that so
much of the feed has to be imported.
The entire region is tick free, and cattle raising and fattening
in the Glades promises to assume large proportions. The low shelter
cost, all-year-out-door conditions, and ample water are factors not to
Poultry products are brought into this territory in enormous
quantities despite increased local production. Local producers have
the advantage of an even climate and green feed all year around.
Against this must be counted the cost of grain, since practically all
of it must be imported.
A network of good hard roads, two railroads, ample refrigerator
car service, two large deep-water harbors, precooling plants and
steamship lines, to which may be added airplane facilities for the rapid
shipment of flowers and baby chickens, provide the growers of this
area with modern transportation.
Co-operative packing plants in the principal shipping districts
dispose of crops in many markets of the country, either on consign
ment or by f. o. b. sale at or near the farm. The usual channels,
including growers markets, are provided for the local retail trade.
ON THE Jefferson Davis Military Map published by the War
Department in 1856, that part of Dade County lying along the
coast was designated as "Coontie and Hunting Grounds."
Until recent years, coontie roots were extensively used for food
by the Seminole Indians. White men discovered that coontie would
yield a good grade of starch, and this became Dade County s first
industry. Thomas and George Furguson built a mill on the Miami
River in 1845. Another pioneer, Adam C. Richardson, engaged in
the industry for twelve years. At one time C. Eskilson used coontie
roots to prepare a product known as "Florida Food" which was sold
in Northern markets.
In the manufacture of coontie starch, the roots are washed,
peeled, ground, and soaked in water. The starch settles to the bottom
and the impurities float on the water, later to be drawn or screened
out. Several washings are required to produce a good grade of starch,
which is then dried in the sun and broken up for packing in barrels.
By these crude methods two men could produce in about two weeks
two 24O-pound barrels which netted them $15.
In the early i88o s Ralph Middleton Munroe and others in
Coconut Grove established a factory for canning pineapple, fish,
and jellies but due to lack of transportation facilities, the venture
did not succeed.
Later a factory, devoted to the manufacture of cushions and
mattresses from prepared Spanish moss, was located on the south
bank of the Miami River west of the Miami Avenue bridge. It
ceased operations when the supply of moss became limited.
As far back as 1908 Miamians began to make special efforts
to attract industries to the city. In that year the Brickell family
"conveyed two hundred building lots and a square block of land in
the center to the Board of Trade" with the understanding that funds
realized by sale of the lots were to be used to secure the establishment
of cigar factories. The plan to make Miami the center of a cigar
manufacturing industry never materialized though there are now
10 factories in the city, one of which has 50 employees.
In addition to the numerous sawmills that sprang up to supply
lumber to the first railroad and remained to furnish building material
to the first settlers in Miami, there was one unusual industry that
80 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
has been discontinued since tractors have been adapted for general
agricultural purposes. J. A. Dann, Miami pioneer, invented a "muck-
shoe," a large, flat iron disk, turned up in front and provided with
bands for fastening to mules hoofs. This "snow shoe," as it was
sometimes called, enabled planters to get crops started in low ground
from three to four weeks before the normal season.
J. A. Dann was engaged in general blacksmithing, carriage, and
wagon work according to an advertisement appearing in the Miami
Metropolis,, July n, 1902. In the same issue there appeared the
advertisements of one cigar manufacturer, one Chinese laundry, one
boatbuilder, and five building contractors. Now, 38 years later,
building construction continues as the most important industry
engaging the services of more than 180 general and specializing
Beginning with the arrival of the Florida East Coast Railway
in 1896, and later, when travel by automobile became more extensive,
thousands of tourists poured into Miami. Many of them became
permanent residents while others continued to return regularly each
winter season. To meet the housing needs of the rapidly increasing
population was an enormous task.
Some idea of the rapid building development in this area may
be gained from a few comparative figures pertaining to Miami Beach.
In 1921, in that city, there were five hotels, nine apartment houses,
and 114 residences while in 1935, hotels numbered 112, apartment
houses 397 and residences 1,953. During the past three years there
have been built 66 hotels, 231 apartment buildings, and 770 residences.
In 1915 the valuation of new building, based on permits issued
in Miami, was but $769,040. In 1916 the valuation rose to
$1,925,033. This figure grew larger each year until 1926, the peak
year, when permits for the greater Miami area totaled $103,572,507.
Building activity dropped to its lowest level in 1932 but since that
year a substantial increase has taken place. In 1935 the dollar
volume for all types of building construction in Miami, Miami Beach,
and Coral Gables was $15,621,206. It totaled $26,604,231 in 1936
and $26,025,779 in 1937. Building permits for these three cities
rose to $29,422,094.50 for the year ending December 31, 1939, with
permits in Miami Shores, Surfside, Miami Springs, Hialeah, North
Miami and South Miami raising the total to $31,875,708.50.
Next to building, the largest industry in Dade County is dairy
ing. Pioneers still remember when Dr. James M. Jackson s cow
arrived in the city. School children, many of whom had never seen
one, were given a holiday to observe it and the lucky cow was accord-
ed the privilege of grazing on the greenest and most fashionable lawn
in town, that of the Royal Palm Hotel.
In 1926, 3,200,000 gallons of milk were produced in the Miami
area and 1,000,000 gallons were imported to supply the local demand.
Approximately 25,000 gallons were used for manufacturing purposes.
In 1928, 2,900,000 gallons were produced, 100,000 gallons imported,
with more than 550,000 used for making ices, ice cream and other
products. During 1939, 6,920,000 gallons of milk were produced,
none imported, and more than 694,082 gallons were diverted into
With better harbor and more extensive anchorage facilities
provided, boatbuilding, outfitting, and repairing came to rank third
among Miami s industries. The Miami River is the site of a rapidly
growing drydock industry. One of the largest covered yacht basins
in the South, accommodating more than 80 average sized vessels, is
located on the north bank of this waterway. Another plant, built
during 1938 at a cost of $500,000, is provided with a 1,000,000
cubic-foot warehouse and 1,830 lineal feet of berthing space for
yachts, cruise vessels, and freighters. A survey, covering only the
larger locally owned and other yachts entering the port of Miami
shows that $4,257,000 was expended in this city for the direct upkeep
and maintenance of 550 of these vessels.
Miami and Dade County use many locally produced raw
materials in the manufacture of novelties and utilitarian articles:
coconut and shell lamps, fish-scale pins, fern baskets, serving trays,
ash trays, grotesquely carved masks and figures bizarrely painted,
lawn furniture and ornaments, and scores of other objects. Coconut
and palmetto fibre, stone, shells, and bamboo are used extensively in
these industries. In 1926 the mayor of Miami described painted
coconuts so effectively in a radio speech that manufacturers were
overwhelmed with orders requiring several months to fill.
Tropical plants supply products for a long list of Miami in
dustries: perfumes, candy, crystallized fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks,
canned fruits, meat tenderizers, cosmetics, jellies, preserves, marma
lades, and oil extracts. For some time experimentists have been
cultivating foreign plants, the source of certain drugs, which are
now imported into the United States.
In addition to numerous processing and servicing plants which,
because of their diversified work, are difficult to classify, greater
Miami has over 500 establishments engaged in the conversion of raw
materials into finished products. Fishing tackle, automobile batteries,
metal products, paper boxes, brooms and brushes, fertilizers, leather
goods, tile, mattresses, paint, furniture, and many others are included
82 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
in the sixty-odd classes of products of these industries which employ
nearly 7,000 men and women and create an annual payroll of about
$8,000,000. Many of those) products have a large local distribution
but increasing shipments are being made throughout the United
States, Canada, and foreign countries.
One of the newer Miami industries is a film studio which em
ploys 325 people and produces the animated motion picture cartoons,
"Betty Boop," and "Pop Eye." In 1939 "Gulliver s Travels," a full-
length cartoon in technicolor was produced, the world premiere
showing being featured at a Miami Beach theatre in December, 1939.
Following 10 years of sporadic surveys, during which several
oil companies obtained vast leases in South Florida, geologists revealed
that the substrata underlying this area are of the same general forma
tion as those from which more than half the world s oil supply has
been taken. In May, 1938, one oil company began an intensive
survey using a specially constructed amphibious tractor suitable for
Everglades work. This tractor or "swamp buggy," as it is some
times called, transports a crew of six men together with supplies
and scientific instruments, including a short-wave radio set. It
travels on pneumatic tires, 10 feet high and three feet in diameter,
provided with cross cleats which give the machine a speed of eight
miles an hour in water.
A test well was started west of Miami in the latter part of 1938
and in January, 1939, had reached a depth of 2,500 feet. During
the same month it was revealed that a contractor on the Overseas
highway project, discovered a gas pocket while blasting for rock on
Bahia Honda and secured a temporary lease covering oil rights on
Other investigations tending toward further industrial develop
ment include experiments with the production of fiber, cellulose, and
oils. Meanwhile, civic organizations point out the opportunities for
assembly plants and light manufacturers in connection with South
American trade areas and continue their efforts to promote industries
that will tend to improve the seasonal unemployment which now
occurs in Miami during the summer months.
MORE than half a century elapsed between the establishment of
Dade County and the opening of the first regular line of
communication connecting the Miami area with towns to the
north. It was only a hack line mule-drawn buggies operating
between Lemon City and Lantana. To the south Coconut Grove was
reached only by boat. The Miami River was a waterway used chiefly
by the Seminole when they emerged from the Everglades to fish in
the bay or trade at William Brickell s store on the south banks of the
river. In 1891 Julia Tuttle, surveying her isolated possessions on the
north side of the river and speculating on Henry Flagler s confer
ences with Henry Plant, traced the enterprises of these two men as
they drove their railroads farther and farther down the Florida coasts.
The nineties were a decade of expansion throughout the State.
The Internal Improvement Board, freed of its legal entanglements
when it realized a million dollars on the sale of 4 million acres of
land to Hamilton Disston, was again in a position to aid in railroad
building after 1881. During the next two years the state legislature
passed 30 bills providing charters and aid to railroads.
The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway Company
secured a charter in 1881, and in 1887 and 1888 built a railroad
from Jupiter to Lake Worth. The rolling stock consisted of one
wood-burning engine, two passenger cars, and as many freight cars.
When Flagler built the Royal Poinciana Hotel at Palm Beach he paid
this road nearly $60,000 in freight bills. Passengers traveling to the
new Dade County Courthouse, built at Juno in 1890, paid a fare of
ten cents per mile. This railroad, the first in Dade County, became
known as the "Celestial" railroad from the stations Juno, Neptune,
Venus, and Jupiter on its line.
After his deal with Mrs. Tuttle, Henry Flagler extended his
railroad, now known as the Florida East Coast Railway, from Palm
Beach to Miami. The first train reached here April 15, 1896. At
the same time Flagler inaugurated a regular boat service to Key West.
Lost on its first trip, the steamer Shelter Island was replaced by the
City of Ric/imond, later renamed the City of Key West.
Miami merchants soon learned that freight rates from northern
terminals to Key West were from 25 to 40 per cent cheaper than
railroad rates direct to Miami. They ordered their goods shipped to
84 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Key West, transferring them by private schooners to Miami at a
substantial saving. This continued until Flagler System officials built a
fence along their holdings shutting off access to the water.
It was the beginning of a contest during which sections of the
fence disappeared by night and the railroad men engaged in repairing
the breaks by day. It was not until 1910 that the railroad and
merchants established peace with general interchange of freight be
tween boats and railroads.
On June 21, 1900 the Plant Line, operating steamships between
Tampa, Key West, and Havana, merged with the Florida East Coast
Steamship Company, and, incorporating under the laws of Connecti
cut, formed the Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Company with
Henry M. Flagler as president and Morton F. Plant as vice-president.
The channel to Cape Florida was deepened to 12 feet and extended
from the Royal Palm Hotel to the company s docks above Sixth
Street. Service was continued until 1908 when Flagler s railroad,
penetrating the Redlands toward Key West, reached Knight s Key,
which was then used as a steamship terminal because of its deeper
Flagler was not the first man to dream of a railroad across the
sea to Key West. In 1870 a group of builders were granted a charter
for the "Great Southern Railroad" which, though never built, was
planned to extend from Millen, Georgia, through Jacksonville,
Orlando, and on to Key West. Flagler, however, was the first to
make a comprehensive survey of the possibilities of such a railroad.
The Fitzpatricks and Gossmans joined Dan Roberts and other
homesteaders in the Redlands section producing crops that were
hauled to small schooners at Cutler for shipment to Northern cities.
The railroad reached Homestead in 1904. Men and equipment were
at hand to begin the gigantic task of driving the road across the
keys, a feat that was accomplished in 1912, after eight years of
Among those who sacrificed their lives in the construction of
this railroad was J. C. Meredith who lies buried in the old City
Cemetery, at Northeast Second Avenue and Nineteenth Street. Over
his grave is a bronze table bearing the following inscription: "In mem
ory of Joseph Carroll Meredith, chief engineer in the construction of
the Key West extension of the Florida East Coast railway, who died
at his post of duty on April 20, 1909. This memorial is erected by
the railway company in appreciation of his skill, fidelity and devotion
in this last and greatest task of his life."
Before the Key West extension had reached Homestead, the
Tatum Brothers Company had laid out Miami s first subdivision,
Riverside, on the south side of the river, but the city was also build
ing up on the Lemon City side toward the north. A flimsy wooden
bridge had been built across the river at Flagler Street and in 1905,
when the population had nearly reached the 5,000 mark, the Tatums
conceived the idea of building a street railway to their holdings.
They purchased second-hand equipment and laid tracks on Miami
Avenue from the northern city limits at Eleventh Street southward
to Sixth Street where the line made a loop to the railroad depot on
Northeast Second Avenue. Returning to Miami Avenue the street
car tracks continued southward to Flagler Street and then ran west
to the Miami River. Later, by paying a toll, they extended the line
across the river to Sixth Avenue in the midst of their subdivision.
The one car comprising the "system" was propelled by storage
The line began operating in July, 1906 and continued in service
for one year after which the tracks were taken up and the cars and
rails sold for duty in another city.
Even then there was some dissatisfaction felt as community
leaders realized that Flagler, controlling all the railroad and harbor
facilities, virtually held the embryo city in his grasp. Agitation
for city ownership of the waterfront crystallized and a committee
of inquiry brought from the railroad an offer to sell all its waterfront
holdings from Southeast Second Street to the north side of the present
P. & O. docks, including channels and improvements, for a little
less than $500,000. The offer was not accepted by the city due to
the protests of some groups who were embittered against Flagler and
it was nearly ten years later before the city acquired the property at
a cost of $1,000,000.
The town was still without a public transportation system.
Bicycles were used to such an extent that one pioneer estimates 5,000
were at one time in use. At Sunday church services the parking
racks were so jammed that early arrivals were perforce the last to
leave the church premises for their bicycles were surrounded by those
of hundreds of other church-goers.
Old-timers chuckle at the memory of cycling costumes they wore
in those days. The voluminous n -gored skirts worn by the women
and their petticoats with three yards of lace-trimmed ruffling that
sometimes caught in the sprocket wheel brought grief to more than
one feminine cycling enthusiast.
It was a little later that John S. Collins, then 74 years of age,
decided to develop part of his 1,600 acres on Miami Beach into resi
dential properties and enlisted the interest of the late Carl G. Fisher
in the construction of a wooden bridge across the bay. This bridge
86 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
remained in use until acquired in 1920 by developers of Venetian
Island, who rebuilt the bridge, and later constructed an island studded
causeway known today as the "Venetian Way."
During the decade of the World War the foundation was laid
for Miami s present position in aerial transportation, a development
which later became so important that in 1927 the city established a
department of aviation. When Miami celebrated the i$th anniversary
of its incorporation in 1911 the city paid the Wright brothers $1,000
a day for an airplane exhibition The Wrights sent a plane piloted by
Howard Gill. Following the celebration, enthusiasts attempted in vain
to persuade the Wrights to establish a school of aeronautics at Miami.
Later, the Glenn H. Curtiss Company entered into negotiations
with the city whereby they received $1,000 for freight charges on a
shipment of four planes to be used at a landing field 200 by 800 feet,
located in Allapattah, and built by the city at a cost of $3,000. This
was the fourth landing field built in America.
The Curtiss interests later built an airport, with facilities for
both land and sea planes, on Miami Beach near the present site of the
Fleetwood Hotel. It was moved in 1914 to a site on the edge of the
Everglades, and a few years later was taken over by the Federal Gov
ernment for training fliers in the United States Marines.
The Dinner Key seaplane base, now headquarters for the Pan
American system, was established in 1917, when the United States
entered the war and Chapman Field, a training base for army fliers,
was acquired the succeeding year.
It was about that time that Miami s long-delayed plan for harbor
development began to materialize. In 1896 J. W. Sackett of St.
Augustine was in charge of a government survey to determine the
best route for a deep water channel into Biscayne Bay. In 1899
Congress appropriated funds for harbor development and again, in
1902, another act was passed creating a plan whereby the city co
operated with the Federal Government in opening a channel direct to
the sea, and known as the "Government Cut," through Fisher s Island.
The city, in 1915, began work on a channel, 105 feet wide and 18 feet
deep, extending from the Government Cut to a turning basin 600
feet wide and 800 feet long. The city also built a concrete pier
1,000 feet long, and a warehouse 250 by 60 feet, in addition to the
construction of railroad facilities. About the same time on the west
ern side of the city, work began on the Tamiami Trail, to connect
Miami with cities on the lower west coast.
The city had long ago attained a population large enough to
warrant an up-to-date transportation system. The Miami Traction
Company, in 1914, had laid tracks from Buena Vista along Northeast
Second Avenue to Flagler Street and west on Flagler Street to Twelfth
Avenue. The line was later extended to a baseball park at Sixteenth
Avenue and Northwest Fourth Street. The cars used storage bat
teries for power and it is related that passengers were frequently
obliged to help push the car up the hill at Thirteenth Avenue. The
car barns were destroyed by fire in 1921.
The remaining property of the Miami Traction Company was
purchased by the, city in 1922. Carl G. Fisher who built and was
operating a street car line to Miami Beach, was called to operate the
city street cars. The equipment was augmented, improved, and an
overhead trolley system was installed.
The boom precipitated an urgent need for better means of trans
portation within the city. Members of the Miami Bus Association
met in 1925 and agreed to adopt 2o-passenger busses instead of jit
neys, one bus permit being granted for every two jitney permits. The
Miami Transit Company was organized, and motor busses put into
operation in January, 1926.
The boom was also responsible for other transportation prob
lems. A group of men had determined to convert a 241 -foot sailing
vessel, the Prinz Valdemar, into a floating night club. While being
towed from the Miami harbor to Miami Beach it ran aground and com
pletely blocked the channel.
The accident tied up hundreds of boats including large liners and
freight vessels that were ready to give up their berths at the docks to
make room for waiting vessels to discharge their cargoes. Political
controversy began as the city commission laid plans to dredge a chan
nel around the stricken boat. After a week s delay, the Federal Gov
ernment sent Col. Gilbert A. Youngberg from Jacksonville to clear
Before the work was finished another boat, the Lakeport,
grounded in the outer channel and for several days tied up all move
ment west of Fisher Island.
These incidents contributed to further harbor development but
not, however, without factional bitterness involving civic leaders.
John B. Orr and the Miami Planning Board submitted a plan for a
deeper channel with a chain of islands, to be built from the spoil,
extending from the Miami dock to Fisher s development on Peninsular
Island. The islands were to be the sites of warehouses and piers and
to be connected with the mainland by a railroad. The low islands
lying south of the channel today are a result of this plan. Dredging
the channel to a depth of 25 feet was completed in 1927.
During the boom period Miami was still served by but one rail
road, the Florida East Coast. Freight shipments became so heavy that
88 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
in August, 1925, coupled with a shortage of labor and storage facil
ities, cars could not be emptied. It took six days for a car to traverse
the distance between Jacksonville and Miami. At last, when 800
cars were waiting to be unloaded on sidings in Miami and 1,300 more
crowded the side tracks to Lemon City, the railroad declared an em
bargo against all building equipment and supplies. By fall, before the
embargo was lifted, 7,000 cars, billed over the Florida East Coast,
were waiting at Jacksonville.
The embargo, of course, did not apply to foodstuffs, and one en
terprising builder, badly in need of materials, had a carload of bricks
consigned to him as lettuce. The car was carefully iced from the time
it left its northern terminal and the ruse was not discovered until it
Until 1920 the Venetian Causeway Company owned the only
highway between Miami and Miami Beach. In 1916 the commission
ers of Dade County decided to use the spoils on the north side of the
ship channel for a road, and the County Causeway was opened to
traffic in 1920.
Discussion of a third causeway to Miami Beach began in 1924
with several development companies requesting projects extending
eastward from Thirty-sixth Street and Fifty-fourth Street. In July,
Dade County granted a franchise for a proposed causeway at Seventy-
ninth Street. The project was approved by the war department in
The proposal of a second toll highway became a matter of public
concern and in an election held in September, 1925, it was voted to
make the new causeway a public thoroughfare. The county began
construction in 1927 and it was opened for public use in 1928.
In early days bicycle races were held on a road, known as the
"Boulevard," that extended from the Royal Palm Hotel northward
along the Bay. In 1924 Hugh Anderson, president of the Miami
Shores Corporation which controlled a great deal of property above
Thirteenth Street, proposed a plan for extending and beautifying this
road. Details were worked out in 1925 by the Biscayne Boulevard
Committee, and work began on Thanksgiving Day.
The construction involved cutting through 23 city blocks, open
ing right-of-way through 14 blocks more and widening four additional
miles of roadway to connect with United States Highway No. i at
Fifty-Fourth Street. Acquiring the right-of-way cost the city $i,-
800,000 and a total of 86 buildings, including apartment houses and
hotels, were either razed or moved to other locations.
The traffic division of the Miami police department was unable
to cope with the congested street conditions brought about by boom-
time activities. Despite the protests of a few merchants, traffic lights
were installed in the downtown area and a number of thoroughfares
were designated as one-way streets.
The traffic patrolmen, often new and inexperienced men, were
immediately troubled by the problem of "jay-walking." One of the
patrolmen lost his temper one day when a pedestrian ignored his com
mand to observe the traffic signal. The officer drew his gun and
fired, the bullet wounding another man half a block away.
The collapse of the boom did not end progress in the increase of
transportation facilities. By 1931 Miami became one of the largest
ports of entry in the United States. The development of the Pan-
American system at Dinner Key has made it the largest international
air line in the world. By land, 75 per cent of the Nation s population
is within eight hours flying time from Miami through connections
with the Eastern Air Lines. These two systems together with exist
ing government, municipal, and private fields give Miami a total of
13 air bases. The payroll derived from aeronautic activities totals
more than $2,000,000 annually.
Another harbor-deepening project costing $2,000,000 was com
pleted and approved in December, 1935. From a sea buoy nearly
three miles off shore, a channel 500 feet wide and 32 feet deep ex
tends to a point inside the jetties where it narrows to 300 feet and
continues at a depth of 3 1 feet to the east bend of the causeway. From
this point to the turning basin the channel is but 200 feet wide while
the turning basin was enlarged to a size of 1,150 by 1,200 feet.
Improvements in railroad service have steadily increased since the
Seaboard Air Line, which includes the names of 106 railroad com
panies, extended its tracks to Miami in January, 1927. During the
winter of 1933-34 this line introduced the first air-conditioned train
operating between New York and Miami and, in 1939, inaugurated
the first regular Diesel-powered, streamlined, electric trains running
between the same cities.
Following the 1935 hurricane which destroyed many parts of
the Key West extension of the Florida East Coast Railway, receivers
for the railroad pleaded their inability to rebuild and were permitted
to discontinue operating the line which, it is said, cost the Flagler in
terests $49,000,000 to build. Their holdings, from Lower Matecumbe
to Big Pine Key, were acquired by the Toll Bridge District of Monroe
County for a consideration of $640,000 and the original plan, in
cluding bridges, for an overseas highway to Key West which was
started in 1924, was now put into effect.
The total cost was $7,400,000 including a PWA loan of $3,600,-
ooo. The project involved the construction of decks surmounting
90 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
the railroad bridges, the longest of which is seven miles. There are
545 smaller bridges on this new highway; 316 8o-foot spans, 19 60-
foot, and 210 5 3 -foot bridges. During the first years of its opera
tion, 158,356 motor vehicles traveled the highway, carrying 417,000
people who paid $236,969 in tolls.
Improvements in transportation facilities continue in 1940 as a
105-foot channel is being dredged from the bay to Coral Gables to
provide yacht anchorage.
NEWSPAPERS AND RADIO
r HE freight service, inaugurated soon after the completion of the
Florida East Coast Extension to Miami in 1896, brought to the
town a printing press for the publication of its first newspaper,
the weekly Metropolis. Editor W. S. Graham and his partner Wesley
M. Featherby circulated the first copies on May 15, of that year. The
paper was crudely printed, six column, full size. A bid of one dollar
was made for the first copy.
In March, 1898, S. S. Burlingame replaced Featherby as local
editor. In April, 1898, Featherby gave way to E. T. Byington, and in
September of the same year Featherby once more resumed the editor
ship in association with his younger brother, C. G. Featherby. Man
agement changed hands again in December, 1899, when B. B. Tatum
acquired the paper.
Tatum had worked as a mill hand at Kissimmee and later at
Bartow where, in partnership with one of his brothers, he became
part owner of a sawmill. In 1887 he acquired the Polk County In
formant, and during the next few years successively controlled the
Advance-Courier,, the Informant, the Courier-Informant, and the
Herald of Rome, Georgia.
Under Tatum, the Metropolis increased its news coverage and, in
1903, when the paper had a circulation of fifteen hundred, made it
an eight-page daily. During this time Tatum was also engaged in a
real estate business which demanded so much of his time that he or
ganized the Miami Printing Company to absorb the paper and made
S. Bobo Dean, secretary and treasurer. Dean secured a half interest in
the paper in 1905. Tatum sold his interests in the Metropolis to A. J.
Bendle who, in 1915, relinquished his holdings to Dean. For eight
years Dean retained control and in 1923 sold the paper to James M.
Cox, newspaper man of Dayton, Ohio, and a candidate for the Presi
dency in 1920. Shortly afterward the paper was renamed the Miami
Daily News and Metropolis.
Finding the presses inadequate Cox ordered more equipment and
in 1924 purchased a site at Sixth Street and Biscayne Boulevard, where
the million-dollar 26-story "News Tower" now stands.
When the Miami Daily News and Metropolis opened its new plant
in July, 1925, it observed the event, as well as its twenty-ninth an
niversary, by producing a special edition of 504 pages. Fifty car
loads of paper and one and a half tons of ink were used in printing this
92 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
issue. Each copy weighed seven and three-quarter pounds. In 1934
the name, "Metropolis" was dropped, and the paper is now known as
the Miami Daily News.
Frank B. Stoneman, another pioneer newspaper man, came to
Miami from Orlando in 1903 and entering into a partnership with A.
L. LaSalle, Sr,, launched the Miami Record, an evening daily. A few
years later they opened negotiations for the purchase of the Miami
News. In spite of the fact that the deal was not consummated a new
masthead was adopted, the Morning News-Record, and the paper
changed from evening to morning publication. The LaSalle-Stoneman
Company was later reorganized and Frank B. Shutts, a young attorney
who came to Miami the year before assumed joint control with Stone
man, on December 10, 1910. The paper was then renamed the Miami
In 1923 the Herald was equipped with a 1 6-page Goss Junior
press. Later it bought a Hoe press that had served the Denver Post for
20 years which could still turn out a 32-page paper; but in 1924 in
creased business over-taxed its facilities. A second-hand 24-page
Scott press was secured in 1925 and set up in a garage while a new
four-story building to house a battery of modern presses was being
The Herald s two original antiquated presses ran on a 24-hour
schedule while harassed printers tried to keep them together. As Ken
neth Ballinger says in his Miami Millions the presses "shed nuts and
bolts like a love-sick maiden s tears." So great was the demand for
advertising space that the paper refused as much as 1 5 pages in one
When the new building was completed and the giant new presses
were ready for operation, the boom was over. The shining machinery
idled along while the city retrenched for a decade but the equipment
purchased to take care of boom business found full use in the late
I9 3 o s.
The volume of advertising printed in the Herald during the first
six months of 1924 when Miami was establishing records for real
estate transfers, put it in first place among the world s newspapei .
The daily average was over 50 pages. Eighty-eight pages of advertis
ing was not uncommon and the Sunday edition often carried 112
pages or more.
The Herald s advertising in January, 1926, was twice that for
any single month in 1925 during which year it established a world s
record with 42,500,000 lines, 12 million more than any ever carried in
a yearns time by any newspaper. Advertising lineage for 1937 was
Hooking a Sailfish in the (julf Stream
Charter Boats for Gulf Stream Fishing
Fishing Boat Pier
Lummus Park and Beach . . Miami Beach
Promenade . . Hialeah Race Track
Paddock . . Hialeah Race Track
Outdoor Opera . . . Bayfront Park . . . Miami
Between Halves . . . Orange Bowl . . . Mid-Winter Football Game
Miami Beach Salt Water Pool
Ready for a Race . . . Greyhound Track
Aquaplaning with a Seaplane
"Flying Down to Rio
NEWSPAPERS AND RADIO 93
In September, 1925, the railroads and the steamship companies
serving the Miami area were so swamped with business that they
placed an embargo on freight shipments. Luckily this did not affect
paper, but at one time, 52 carloads of paper was tied up in Baltimore
and Philadelphia and had to be brought to Miami in single consign
The Miami Herald remained in the hand of Stoneman and Shutts
for 26 years. In 1937 it was sold to John S. Knight of Ohio.
Florida s Deutsches Echo, a five-column newspaper printed in
German at irregular intervals was founded in February, 1926, by A.
W. Partak, its present editor. It circulates in Florida, Cuba, and a
number of Northern cities. News coverage includes items of local
interest as well as news dealing with the activities of German-Amer
ican organizations. Some articles appear in English. Its editorial
policy as expressed in the issue of November 4, 1938: "Printed in the
German language, Florida s Deutsches Echo is an American paper
true to American democratic ideals. It is strongly opposed to fascism,
nazi-ism, communism, but pledges allegiance to the flag of the United
States and all for which this glorious flag stands: "LIBERTY AND
JUSTICE FOR ALL."
The Miami Times, a colored weekly, established September i,
1923, is a five-column paper devoted to the interests of the Negroes
in the community. It is conservative in tone, liberal in character, and
circulates in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, and the Bahamas.
The Jewish Floridian, published each Friday in the Miami Daily
News Tower, covers news items of Jewish activities throughout the
State and interprets international events of interest to its readers.
The Miami Citizen, formerly the Miami News and later, the
Miami Central News, founded April 8, 1919, is the official organ of
the Miami Central Labor Union. It is a nonpartisan weekly con
cerned chiefly with local and national labor problems with a circula
tion of more than six thousand. The Miami Review, published week
days is a chronicle of local events.
Among the defunct newspapers are the Daily Tribune,, and the
Illustrated Daily Tab, the latter an aggressive tabloid publication
founded in the boom period by Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr. Both were
of interest chiefly because of their brief but turbulent existence.
Vanderbilt s spectacular entry into Miami s journalistic turmoil
was even less successful. He arrived at the Herald office one October
night in 1924 when the staff was working by candlelight after a tor
rential rain had short-circuited power lines. His announcement that
he and Barron G. Collier, owner of nearly 2 million acres of Ever
glades land, were considering the construction of a railroad from Fort
94 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Myers to Miami, won him much publicity and the interest of the
Chamber of Commerce.
A month later, he announced his intention of starting a news
paper and advertised a prize of $1,000 for a name. In the meantime
he secured financial backing for his paper, the Illustrated Daily Tab,
which began publication in January 1925 with a front page picture
of Mrs. Floris Lambert, whose name for the publication won first
prize. The local advisory board contained the names of many influ
ential Miami citizens while the late Alfred I. duPont headed the
national advisory board of Vanderbilt Newspapers, Inc.
The Tab was successful while the real estate market was active
but with the collapse of the boom in 1926 publication was discon
N. B. T. Roney, who sold 6 million dollars worth of lots from
one subdivision in a 6-hour sale during the boom days, was financially
interested in the Miami Tribune,, published by Frank T. Fildes which
started in 1924. It was a mild, conservative daily, avoiding strife
and contention. Like other newspapers, it prospered through the fat
years, dwindled to tabloid size in 1926, shrank to a weekly in Febru
ary 1927, and ceased publication the following autumn.
Notable because of its political activities, the Miami Beach
Tribune began publication in 1933. It was acquired soon afterward
by M. L. Annenberg, later owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who
renamed it the Daily Tribune. Under the editorship of the late Paul
G. Jeans, its daily circulation leaped to fifty thousand. Tabloid in
form and character, aggressive to the extent of ridicule and abuse,
it opened an attack on the municipal administration, and successfully
supported a group of candidates for public office. Soon after the
election its assets were purchased by the Miami Herald and publica
tion was discontinued December i, 1937.
The Coral Gables Riviera, a weekly community newspaper, was
established in January 1926 with John D. Montgomery as editor and
publisher. In November 1929, Montgomery issued the weekly Miami
Beach Tropics at Miami Beach. Later it became a semiweekly publi
Miami still has its blatant tavern tabloids, also trade and tourist
journals. Most of these are weeklies; a few monthlies. Some appear
only during the winter months. All local papers, from the dailies to
the four-page "scandal" sheets, play a part in the community s life.
In the days of "cats* whiskers" and crystal radio sets, F. W.
Borton began experimenting with transmitting apparatus in a
NEWSPAPERS AND RADIO 95
cramped corner of a Miami battery and electrical shop. He applied
for and received a license to operate a 5o-watt broadcasting station,
WFAW, in February, 1921. The equipment, most of the parts hand
made, was assembled on a desk-top and power was supplied by the
battery shop which charged its expense to advertising.
This first radio station, the oldest in south Florida, soon found
itself at a loss for program material. The Miami Metropolis aided
Borton until 1922. In the same year the station s call letters were
changed to WQAM, and its first programs included concerts by
Pryor s Band and meetings of William Jennings Bryan s Bible Class,
both featured events at Bayfront Park.
Realty companies, eager for publicity, were quick to sense the
value of radio advertising and their patronage led to better equipment
and a more powerful station. The Department of Commerce granted
permission for the station to broadcast on 250 watts, which in 1926
was increased to 500 watts, and to 1,000 watts in 1928, when it
joined the network of the Columbia Broadcasting System.
WQAM, now controlled by the Miami Broadcasting Company,
was the first station in the United States to establish a permanent
remote pick-up from the Weather Bureau. The station is serviced
by the United Press, Trans-Radio Press, and the Press-Radio Bureau.
Offices and studios are located in the Postal Building.
Radio station WIOD, meaning, "Wonderful Isle of Dreams,"
was established at Miami Beach in 1926. It joined the National
Broadcasting Company in 1929 and in 1935 was purchased by the
Miami Daily News. W4XB, a 5,ooo-watt short-wave station, oper
ated in connection with WIOD, employs a Spanish interpreter.
A new antenna system erected in 1936, increased the range of
the i,ooo-watt station and improved the quality and range of recep
tion. Its range was again augmented to include areas in the northern
part of the State when, in October 1937, WIOD changed its wave
length from 1300 to 610 kilocycles.
The newest radio station in the Miami area, WKAT, presented
its initial program on November i, 1937. Operating on both 100
watts and 250 watts the station is housed in its own building at
Miami Beach. This independent station, owned and operated by A.
Frank Katzentine of Miami Beach, receives 1 8 -hour United Press
teletype news service.
The Tropical Radio Station in Opa Locka, built in 1925, houses
equipment of the Tropical Radio Telegraph and the American Tele
phone and Telegraph Companies. The former, affiliated with the
United Fruit Company, provides telegraph and point-to-point com
munication between operatives of the United Fruit Company, but its
facilities are available for ship and yacht owners. The equipment of
96 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, which includes six
channels, is designed for point-to-point telephone conversations be
tween the two American continents. Its facilities also provide direct
telephone communication between points in South America and trans-
Atlantic steamers or cities in Europe.
LITTLE of Miami s architecture is old. There are no "early"
buildings, and only a few that have a definite historical interest.
The first structure of note erected in this area was the Cape
Florida Light on Biscayne Key opposite Coconut Grove, built in 1826
on the site of an old Indian mound. The original stone and wood
tower was partially destroyed by fire during an Indian attack in 1836.
Ten years later an 8 5 -foot brick tower rose from the same site,
the height increased to 120 feet in 1849. The upper part of the light
was destroyed by gunfire in 1862. Upon its restoration a few years
later, light service was resumed and continued until 1878 when the
newly designed Fowey Rock Light out on the reef and nearer the
ship lane, replaced it as an aid to navigation. Cape Florida Light was
used by the United States Signal Corps as a station during the Spanish-
Of historic Fort Dallas, which originally stood near the mouth
of the Miami River, nothing now remains except the one-story bar
racks constructed of native stone. No outstanding building was
erected in the Miami area until Henry M. Flagler built the large frame
Royal Palm Hotel in 1896. In the maze of hotels completed during
and since the boom, there is more of "Main Street" than architectural
beauty. The one structure of unusual design, the rambling, many-
turreted Halcyon Hotel, once known as the White Palace, was de
molished to make way for the Alfred I. DuPont building, a stream
lined skyscraper completed in 1939.
The frame buildings that lined the streets of the frontier Miami
are fast disappearing. They were replaced, first by brick structures
with porch roofs extending over the sidewalks and later by the steel-
and-concrete towers of today and even these, in many instances, have
been remodeled in accordance with the prevailing mode in modern
shop fronts. In nearby neighborhoods where garages, beer stands and
foreign grocery stores are crowded in among the rooming houses,
many of these old frame houses still stand, slowly rotting behind a
high "store-front" that partly conceals them.
The style of these first residences differed according to the means
and tastes of the owner. In general, the remaining frame houses
differ little from those still found in northern cities. In the twenties,
however, a new fashion came into being one that, for want of a
better name, has been called the modified Mediterranean. This arch> -
98 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
tectural style found expression in thousands of concrete block and
frame stucco bungalows that sprang up during the boom. They
have color without flamboyancy and a softness of outline that har
monizes with the tropical foliage which has grown up about them.
Seasoned by more than a decade of tropical weather, their original
blues, browns, and yellows are less dazzling than the glaring white
stucco finish on the new houses that are being built today.
These new houses mark a third change in type and design.
Influenced by the modern trends in building, partially determined by
expediency, local conditions, and building laws, a new style, some
times designated as Floridian, has been evolved.
Successive hurricanes destroyed most of the "jerry-built" struc
tures erected during the boom days. Flimsy wooden houses and con
crete block buildings unsupported by reinforced pillars or lintels have
proved to be unsafe in areas subject to these violent storms. While
these matters have been taken care of by a municipal building code,
there are other distinctions which characterize this newer style.
The overhanging eaves of the frame houses and the flat roof of
the "modified Mediterranean" have almost disappeared. The modern
roof, whether tiled or shingled, has sufficient pitch to shed water
rapidly and ends abruptly, at the outside wall. There are no project
ing surfaces exposed to the fury of winds.
The severity, the stark outlines of these newer homes, especially
in the predominating lower and middle priced class, is relieved only
by proper arrangement of shrubs and vines. The modernistic trend
is even more marked in the higher priced homes where beauty in line
and color has been replaced by originality in distribution of mass.
Miami did not take its architecture seriously until 1916 when
the late James Deering completed his estate, "Viscaya," at Coconut
Grove. This magnificent estate, a truly palatial private residence
built on 300 acres of formally landscaped grounds and gardens, is
an example of Italian design with decorations and art work dating
from the twelfth century.
The name "Viscaya" comes from the model of a Spanish ship,
the Caravel Vtscaya, a miniature replica of which serves as a crest
surmounting the entrance gates. The gates themselves, the gardens,
terraces, and the great house are principally Italian in spirit but influ
ences from all over the world lurk among the treasures gathered here
on the shores of what the Spanish explorers called the "Laguna di
Along the main avenue before the house are sacred Bo trees of
India, favorite of the ancient Buddha. Further on are Chinese gold
fish bowls of the Ming dynasty. In the palace itself are Egyptian
vases sculptured soon after Napoleon s African campaign; a silver
toilet set by Buntzell of Vienna; a German wood-carved figure of
Saint Sebastian; Ferrarese tapestries, once the property of the poet
Robert Browning; and hundreds of paintings, statues, and other works
of art. Practically every country is represented but Italian art and
In 1934 Viscaya was opened to the public. Guides conducted
parties through the house and grounds and an admission fee was
charged. Since the hurricane of 1935, which did much damage to the
property, the estate has remained closed. A staff of servants is
retained to keep this $15,000,000 estate in order.
Another attempt to catch the spirit of a foreign architecture is
seen in the town of Opa Locka close on the vast reaches of the Ever
glades. The domes, minarets, and balconies of Turkish mosques loom
against the sky like an Arabian Night s fantasy. A church building
reflects the structure of an ancient Egyptian tomb. The streets bear
Iranian names. This was one of the many towns that sprang up with
Another boom town was Miami Springs. Here, in 1925, was
opened the new Hotel Country Club, with 40 guest room suites,
announced as a "most distinctive addition to the architecture of
Southern Florida." Now a sanitarium surrounded by palms and
tropical shrubbery, it is still unique among the boom-time inspira
tions. The building rises three stories in a series of terraced floors
connected with ladders suggesting a pueblo Indian village. Above it
all rises a tower that belongs to no particular style unless it be that
of the Spanish-Moor.
More typical of the Moorish influences are the News Tower and
the Miami Biltmore Hotel both erected during the middle twenties.
The towers of both these buildings are reproductions of the Giralda
Tower of Seville but the introduction of extra windows was a result
of modern needs.
Along Northwest North River Drive, opposite Fort Dallas stands
the Scottish Rite Temple, another example of imported architecture.
Imposing and coldly aloof, this building, carrying a burden of ori
ental symbolism, frowns down on the restored historic Fort Dallas
and the sluggish river crowded with boats and odorous fish houses.
Of the churches in the Miami area, most noteworthy are the
First Congregational of Coral Gables, patterned after a Spanish mis
sion, and St. Patrick s Catholic Church at Miami Beach, a colorful,
brick structure in the Romanesque style. The First Church of Christ
Scientist on Biscayne Boulevard is an excellent example of the sim
plicity and purity of ancient Greek architecture.
A distinctive example of modern design is the Pan-American
100 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Airport at Coconut Grove, standing on a point of land at Dinner
Key, surrounded on three sides by water.
Franklin D. Roosevelt s Holland Dutch ancestors coat of arms
is displayed upon a large stone shield above the entrance to the
Roosevelt Hotel. The shield depicts three roses upon which appears
the motto, "Qui Plantivit Currant." A ghost hotel of massive pro
portions, the Roosevelt stands sentinel at the western end of the
County Causeway. A product of the boom days, it still remains an
Extravagances and prodigality at Miami Beach did not cease with
the collapse of the boom. Residences on the beach are interesting for
detail, color, and style that appears to be evolving from climate and
geographical position. Particularly noticeable are the Arabic latticed
balconies, fine hand-wrought iron grilles, columns topped with stone
urns and urn-topped arches resembling European wayside shrines, and
expansive rows of white and polychrome tiles. There are hundreds
of tiny "estates" whose owners have sought either exclusiveness or
solitude behind walls walls, not quite high enough to hide the vivid
coloring and daring architectural experiments. But out of it all has
come, of necessity, an integral style, chiefly Spanish, but very freely
treated. The whole effect is gay, cheerful, and exotic.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
BECAUSE of its moderate climate and natural physical advan
tages Miami became known from its beginning as a pleasant
place in which to live. As the city grew, its leaders combined
to provide recreational facilities that might appeal to people of all
ages and tastes, whether in search of health, relaxation, or a holiday
of strenuous excitement. In addition to facilities provided by nature
surf bathing, fishing, and hunting nearly every form of recrea
tion, even ice-skating, has been so developed that the name Miami has
become a synonym for play. This means that Miamians and their
guests may elect to be spectators at formal events, or if they choose,
actively participate in games, contests, or other forms of amusement.
Public parks and playgrounds are designed to provide diversified
pleasure for winter visitors. Bayfront Park, and Miami Lummus
Park, are convenient to the downtown area. Numerous neighbor
hood parks make adequate provisions for diamond ball, baseball,
football, and tennis. The annual Miami Relay Olympics, partici
pated in by many Florida high school athletes, are held at Moore
Park. During the contests a miniature Olympic village is con
structed to house the contestants. Among the featured football
games staged in the Roddey Burdine Stadium is the Orange Bowl
game played each New Year s Day.
Besides the recreational activities offered in Miami s parks there
are those of a more sedentary nature. The Civic Center at 3 5 North
West Second Street is a favorite meeting place for the social minded.
Groups of visitors from each state are organized into state societies
or clubs and dances and card parties are a major pastime.
One of the special programs held at the Civic Center is the
flower show. Miniature model gardens, art and butterfly collections,
tropical wood oddit ; es, flowers from foreign lands, and rare and
exotic orchids including the finest collections ever displayed in the
South, all combine to make this one of the most colorful events of
Another widely attended event is the annual All-American
Air Meet held at the Municipal Airport, usually during December.
Ordinarily a pageant precedes the formal opening and, every after
noon., bands and drill units of various organizations give perform-
102 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
ances between the scheduled events. Each day s activities are con
cluded by Army and Navy dances and other entertainment for offi
cials and visitors who are in Miami during the maneuvers.
These are but a few of a long calendar of events sponsored by
the city in an effort to make this area the finest playground and
pleasure resort in the world. To accomplish this aim Miami offers
a wide and varied entertainment program that is supplemented by a
list of spectacular events staged by private corporations. Invest
ments and expenditures devoted to sports and recreation total more
than 45 million dollars annually.
Topping the list of lavish display and expenditures is horse
racing. Two fine tracks draw an average daily crowd of nearly
10,000 spectators during the 96-day racing season and every day
these fans toss more than $350,000 into the pari-mutuel betting
Every afternoon throughout the season, long lines of automo
biles converge in a veritable sea of cars at the race track parking
grounds. The stands and clubhouse fill with gay excited patrons
who seem never to tire of the sport. Perhaps it is the banks of
tropical flowers that attract them. It may be the wide lawns, the
fleecy clouds above the palms, or the exotic water birds.
The subdued chatter of the crowd rises sharply as the thorough
breds come out on the track for the first race. As the horses, led
by a red-coated steward, parade before the stands, the people begin
to mill. Long lines form before the betting windows. Here and
there an old hand calmly studies the field through his binoculars
and notes the betting odds on the "tote" board across the track.
As the horses gather at the post the great crowd becomes quiet.
They are almost silent as the line-up takes definite form.
Then a roar goes up as the horses leave the barrier. The
clamoring bell that marks the official start can scarcely be heard
above the excited cries of the multitude. In the press box, veteran
observers follow the horses through field glasses, reporting their
respective positions at each pole.
And as the shadows lengthen across the park and less ardent
fans begin to drift toward their cars, the strident, high-pitched
voice of some bettor still rises above the voice of the cheering multi
tude as he "hollers his horse home" in the last race. The day is
over. Cars stream from the parking lots toward the town as their
occupants discuss the events of the day. Some have won; some
have lost; but they all come back, hoping to make a "killing."
At night, man s other favorite, the dog, takes the center of
SPORTS AND RECREATION 103
the stage. The scene shifts to the various kennel clubs where power
ful flood lights illuminate every corner of the tracks and throw
into sharp relief the lean muscled greyhounds and the fleeting me
chanical rabbit. The same gay crowds, always ready to chance
another dollar, fill the stands and stream out over the promenades
Above the din of music and the surge of voices, a bugle sounds
and the ceremonies begin. Elaborately uniformed attendants parade
the dogs before the throng, pause a moment before the judges
stand for a last minute inspection of the racers and then file smartly
away to the starting boxes. There is a hush, the sound of the me
chanical rabbit speeding along the electric rail, and the swelling
thunder of cheers as the gaunt hounds leap from their cages and
flash into action.
Another sport, in which betting is likewise legalized, is Jai-alai
(Hi-li), a Spanish game somewhat on the order of hand-ball.
Jai-alai was evolved from an ancient game played by driving a ball
against the wall of a village church. At first this was done with
the bare hand. Later the game was played in an open court with a
The modern game is played by opposing single or double
teams on a paved court in a specially constructed building called
a fronton. The ball is served against an end wall and, as in tennis,
must rebound into marked areas within the court. Each player
wears a gauntlet from which projects a long, curved, basket-like
implement known as the "cesta." The player catches the ball in
the cesta and, in the same uninterrupted motion, hurls it back into
The players, usually Cubans, are skilled through years of practice
and play with incredible speed. Spectators in the stands are pro
tected by a floor-to-ceiling screen on the open side of the court. As
the score varies during the game so do the betting odds fluctuate
from moment to moment. Between games, music for dancing is fur
nished by a Spanish or Cuban orchestra.
Another widely patronized sport in the Miami area is golf.
Eleven courses are maintained for the convenience of those who find
12 months of practice each year none too many for the good of their
game. The skill of the world s greatest golfers is tested on Miami s
courses. Jones, Hagen, Sarazen, Runyan, Dutra, Smith and other
nationally known players have been featured in Miami tournaments.
Nearly all the golf courses in the area are available to tourists.
A quieter form of recreation, though no less gay, is found in
104 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
the night life of Miami s many clubs and bars. Famed bands, stars
of screen, stage, and radio, expensive appointments and extravagances
in tune with the prodigality of the tropics, all contribute to the
merrymaking. For the more romantic are the outdoor dances on
shining terrazza floors with muted music and soft lights aloft in the
FROM the time white men replaced the Indian in south Florida,
fishing has been an important occupation. At first it was purely
an individual enterprise, a means of securing food for the family
larder. Later, fishing became a commercialized industry and then
a recognized sport.
As sport it ranks among the most popular, and is suited to every
pocketbook. The bamboo pole fisherman reaps as much pleasure
and satisfaction from landing a black bass from the Tamiami Canal
as does the Gulf Stream angler who wins a battle with a sailfish
from the cockpit of an expensive cabin cruiser.
The philosophy of Izaak Walton is fostered in Miami by the Rod
and Reel Club which has a limited membership of four hundred plus
a long waiting list. The club includes men from many walks of life,
every one of them versed in the time-honored recreation of angling.
The tourist has a wide latitude in his choice of fishing oppor
tunities. He can acquire an outfit, including bait, for less than
a dollar, and fish from any of a dozen bridges, bulkheads, or piers.
From this modest start there is practically no limit upward. Some
comparatively simple kits, especially those designed far deep-sea
fishing, cost as much as a medium priced car.
Deep-sea fishing, however, may be enjoyed without the expense
of a permanent investment in equipment. On charter boats, avail
able at a wide variety of prices, a day s sport costs as little as two
dollars with everything furnished except lunch and liquid refresh
ments. Charter cabin cruisers making the Gulf Stream are owned
and operated by captains who hold certificates and licenses, and are
expert guides and seamen. During the years the fleet has been
operating, not a life has been lost at sea. The captain advises and
helps the beginner catch whatever fish may be running.
At Baker s Haulover, about ten miles north of Miami, the tide
on ebb or flow is a mill race, spanned by a high bridge. From the
bridge and a concrete jetty extending into the ocean, fishermen have
made excellent records. Fishing is free but transportation must be
arranged since there is no public conveyance. Bait can be purchased
at a tackle shop. A restaurant features fish and local delicacies.
The i,ooo-foot pier at Sunny Isles, just north of Baker s Haul-
over, affords an opportunity for deep-sea fishing without a boat.
106 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Tackle and bait can be secured at the pier. Visitors who do not
care to fish are admitted for 15 cents; otherwise the charge is 40
cents. The clubhouse and casino provide an excellent menu.
Along the ocean shore from Miami northward, surf fishing is
to be had by day or night when the tide is favorable. The catch
is usually limited to such swift surface fish as blue runners, blue-
fish, mackerel, and pompano.
Bridges connecting the keys 50 to 75 miles south of Miami
are outlying fishing grounds. From these spans, anglers catch almost
all kinds of fish that frequent the inland waters. Tackle, bait, and
refreshments are sold at nearby-by stands.
Of the many varieties of fish to be found in Florida waters
only a few are known as gamefish and therefore entitled to consid
eration by the sportsman. Of these, none is more popular than the
sailfish, named from the purplish-blue, web-like dorsal fin that ex
tends from its head almost to its tail. This fin, sometimes 2 feet
high can be folded at will into a deep, narrow groove along the
top of its back.
The popularity of the sailfish lies in its elusiveness, its fighting
qualities, and the thrills and excitement experienced in bringing one
to gaff. The upper portion of its head, over the lower jaw, projects
forward to form a beak or spear with which the sailfish usually
taps the lure before striking. Sometimes, its great sail proudly dis
played, a sailfish may follow the trolled bait for miles, but aggravat-
ingly refuse to come near it. Extreme patience is needed at first, and,
when the fish takes the bait, expert skill. Its weight varies from 35
to 50 pounds.
Next to the sailfish, many anglers who like the "big ones,"
prefer the tarpon that range from sixty to two hundred pounds.
One weighing 352 pounds was landed by a commercial fisherman
near Indian River Inlet in 1912.
The tarpon, or Silver King, is a massive fish, with a heavy
head and a bulky body. But it is also possessed of great strength
and endurance and, when hooked, never fails to put up a long and
fierce struggle for freedom. Landing a tarpon involves a contest
against brute strength. Its aerial gymnastics and desperate lunges
last long enough to try the muscles and skill of any fisherman.
In midwinter the tarpon are usually found about the coasts
and inlets of Central America. They migrate in spring, traveling
northward in great schools, loafing in the Caribbean until March.
They then move into waters around the Florida Keys and by mid
summer may be found along the entire east coast and coastal waters
of the Gulf. During the spring and summer months they are par-
ticulariy plentiful in the inner channels among the thousands of
little islands clustered about the southern tip of the penisula.
Another great game fish, whose tough, wiry fighting qualities
have been likened to those of a bucking bronco, is the marlin. These
are the superlatives in the rod and reel class. World records include
one weighing 1,040 pounds caught by Zane Grey, off Vairoa, Tahiti.
Marlin are known as blue, black, silver, striped, or white
according as their hide is marked. Along the east coast the white
marlin, averaging one hundred pounds in weight, are more common
while the blue marlin, running from two to six hundred pounds are
found on the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream in the vicinity of
Marlin reach such great size and are such terrific fighters
that tackle must be made to order. A great reel costing six hundred
dollars and up, big enough to hold almost a mile of heavy line is
the first essential. Two hundred fifty yards of 1 8 -thread line an
swers for the average game fish but the minimum requirement for
blue marlin is nine hundred yards of 36- to 5 4- thread line. Some
sportsmen use up to forty-five hundred feet of line while others,
depending on sheer strength, use heavier ji-thread lines. To manipu
late such tackle it is necessary for the angler to wear a "harness,"
a leather vest, provided with a socket and cables to support the outfit.
In southern waters only one fish is comparable to the marlin
the tuna a bullet-shaped parcel of chained lightning. It may take
several hours to land a i5O-pounder while all-day battles with larger
specimens are not infrequent.
It is often difficult to land one of the larger game fish whole.
Sharks swarm to the scene of battle and tear great chunks from the
side and belly of the hooked and helpless marlin or tuna.
On the edges of the Gulf Stream and on shallow flats around
wrecks, buoys, and piling, and inside waters, anglers are annoyed
by barracuda, the "tiger of the sea." Ranging from 3 to 6 feet in
length these ferocious cannibals attack anything, not alone because
of hunger but from the sheer lust for blood. Even the shark cannot
equal them in speed, cruelty, or blind reckless courage. Moise N.
Kaplan, authority on Florida game fish, relates that an irate angler
carved up a barracuda and tossed it back into the water. He baited
his hook with the flesh thus obtained and a minute later, this bar
racuda fiercely struck and was caught again on the bait from its
The foregoing are the large fish of the Miami area, although,
strictly speaking, the shark and barracuda are considered as trouble
makers rather than game fish. Among the smaller game fish are the
108 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
amberjack, bonito, channel bass, grouper, kingfish, mackerel, snook,
bonefish, and wahoo. The latter is a member of the mackerel family
found in tropical waters about Florida and the West Indies. It is
a terrific fighter, good eating, but not plentiful. The bonefish
weighing from two to five pounds, are among the smallest of the
game fish and only the lightest tackle is used for taking them. The
attraction lies in the knowledge, finesse, and skill the sportman
must develop in landing them.
On an incoming tide, bonefish are sometimes seen in quiet,
shallow water on banks or bottoms, their tails up, as they "root"
for food in the sand or mud. Locating these feeding places is diffi
cult and often requires time. In addition, the bonefisherman must
have the patience of Job. A ripple on the waters, a fleeting shadow,
or a mere whisper is often sufficient to frighten away the timid
Miami s fishing opportunities are not limited wholly to salt
water. The canal and its branches along the Tamiami Trail have an
abundance of small tarpon, redfish, snook, bream, and black bass, the
latter probably America s sportiest fresh-water fish. So great an
asset is this fish to Florida s outdoor life, that the State legislature
in 1935 passed an act making illegal the sale of black bass or its
transportation for sale out of the State.
Along the Tamiami Trail, black bass are taken by bait or fly
casting and by still fishing. The gear is simple and inexpensive. A
4/4- to 6-foot steel rod, a cane pole or a fly rod, used with a 16- to
1 8 -pound test line are all used successfully. Natural bait, live min
nows, frogs, worms, crawfish, or artificial lures, spoons and spinners,
are all employed. When the sky is overcast and the fish refuse
surface lures, underwater pork-rind lures may be effective. The fly
fisherman finds that bass lures often get the fish. When casting,
plugs should be reeled in slowly and halted frequently to simulate
a wounded minnow attempting to escape an enemy.
For fresh-water fishing a license secured from the office of the
county judge, is required. A non-resident fresh-water permit costs
$1.75. The bag is limited to 12; possession to two days limit.
Commercial fishing fleets operated in conjunction with local
fish markets together with boats operated by individual owners put
out to sea in the early morning hours each day to return with food
fish for local consumption and northern markets. During the king-
fish season, from November to March, approximately two hundred
boats sail into Biscayne Bay and out through Baker s Haulover and
the Government Cut, and thousands of pounds of mackerel and king-
fish are brought in each evening.
The season for Florida lobster or crawfish and the stone crab,
a rare delicacy little known north of Miami, is from July to January.
Many local fishermen, from Pompano to Homestead, use homemade
traps for lobster fishing. Crawfish, brought in from the Bahamas the
entire year, are iced and shipped to northern cities.
The Annual Metropolitan Miami Fishing Tournament, sponsored
by all the communities in the Greater Miami area, is held from Janu
ary to April. Contestants averaging 1,250 daily from all the states
and many foreign countries participate in this tournament each year.
Daily certificates of award are provided for each of the 99 days of
fishing. Prizes totaling $10,000 are offered for 27 varieties of fish
and the tournament includes such special features as the picturesque
parade of the fishing flotilla and ladies day for which separate prizes
are provided. Weekly prizes are awarded to charter-boat captains
participating in the tournament. Entries for prizes are measured
and weighed and recorded on blanks provided by the committee
which has its headquarters in the Rod and Reel Club on Hibiscus
Many anglers have their prize catches mounted for display in
their homes or clubs. The charges range from $10 to $20 per foot
for the larger kind such as sailfish, marlin, tarpon, dolphin, or bar
racuda. For smaller fish, like the brilliantly colored parrot or angel-
fish, the cost is from $10 to $20 depending on the amount of color
Measured in terms of money, fishing ranks high in Miami s list
of recreations. It is estimated that in more than one hundred days
of fishing, $500,000 is expended for boat hire alone, a computation
based on a charge of $25 per boat day for two hundred craft.
Tackle dealers agree that about one million dollars is paid yearly
for equipment and supplies.
In, the interests of the sport and conservation of fish, the true
angler and sportsman returns to the water such fish as he does not
intend to have mounted, enter for tournament prizes, or use for
THE GULF STREAM
r I HE Gulf Stream, so named by Benjamin Franklin, was formerly
listed as the "Florida Stream" on charts of the coast of Florida,
prepared in 1771 by William Gerard de Brahm, British Surveyor
General for the Southern District of North America.
Easily recognized by its higher temperature and indigo blue
color, the Gulf Stream pours through the Florida Straits, sweeps
close along the coast as far as Palm Beach, then takes a northeast
ward course. It is deflected eastward from the Newfoundland Banks,
and branches in mid-ocean. There, part of it turns southward to
ward the Azores, eventually encountering the trade winds which, on
both sides of the equator, induce currents on the ocean s surface.
These currents are called respectively the North and South Equatorial
Any perceptible continuous horizontal movement in a body of
water is called a current. In channels and estuaries near the coast,
currents are caused chiefly by tides, but in the open sea they are due
primarily to winds. A continuous wind blowing over a wide ex
panse of water induces motion on its surface. This surface motion,
because of the viscosity of water, is transmitted, in part, to the water
beneath. If these winds are not interrupted the entire body of water,
to a greater or lesser depth is set in motion. The equatorial currents
rise from such a natural cause.
Between latitudes about 30 N. and 10 N. in the Northern
Hemisphere, the trade winds of the Atlantic blow with great regu
larity from the northeast. In the Southern Hemisphere the trades
blow from the southeast to a point north of the equator. Thus, these
trade winds create two great currents which converge near the
equator and flow westward in one gigantic stream.
Some of the waters of the South Equatorial current, at about
20 W. pass north of the equator and are divided by the projecting
point of Brazil. While a small part flows southward, the main body
is compelled by the contour of the coast, to take a northwesterly
course and finally enters the Caribbean Sea through the Lesser An
The North Equatorial Current is likewise divided. The greater
part pushes into the Caribbean to join the waters of the South
THE GULF STREAM 111
Equatorial; the other part, split on the islands, moves to the north
west along the Bahamas and is called the Antilles Current.
This great mass of water pouring into the Caribbean raises its
level above that of the Gulf of Mexico. In consequence a current
with a velocity of 60 to 100 miles per day, one of the strongest on
record, passes through the Channel of Yucatan. As a result, the level
of the Gulf of Mexico is raised above that of the Atlantic, and these
waters, forced through the Straits of Florida, enter the Atlantic as
the celebrated Gulf Stream.
Direct leveling across the Florida Peninsula shows that the
elevation of the Gulf over the Atlantic approximates 0.7 feet, which,
calculation has shown, is required to give the current of the Gulf
Stream its present velocity.
After passing between Fowey Rocks and Little Bahama Bank it
continues in a northeastward course, following the general direction
of the 100 fathom curve, a more or less distinct line, closely parallel
ing the shore line, where the water reaches a depth of 100 fathoms
or 600 feet. This curve, from Miami to Fort Pierce, is about four or
five miles off the coast, and gradually bears away. At Jacksonville
it is about 85 miles east of the shore line. As the Gulf Stream
follows this curve it broadens out, fan-wise, its velocity slowly dimin
In the Straits of Florida the stream is about 42 miles wide and
has a mean surface velocity of about 4 miles per hour on its axis.
It broadens to a width of about 200 miles at its junction with the
Antilles Current, that portion of the North Equatorial Current
which flows northwestward along the Bahamas. North of this point
its velocity diminishes to about one mile per hour.
In moderate weather the edges of the stream are marked by
ripples; in cool weather the evaporation, due to the difference in tem
peratures between the air and water, is apparent to the eye. The
stream carries with it a quantity of weed known as "gulfweed," fa
miliar to all who navigate its waters.
Gulfweed, so named from its abundance in long, yellow lines
in the Gulf Stream, is a genus (Sargassiim) of seaweeds of the family
Fncaccae. The North Atlantic species (S. baccifcrnm) takes its name
from the berry-like appearance of its air vessels. These seaweeds are
likewise found in all warm coastal waters, and are easily detached
from the stones to which they cling. The stems, widely known in
South America as goitre-sticks, are often employed for the cure of
goitre. It is eaten in China and used in salads and as a pickle in other
parts of the East.
112 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
The sweeping, circular currents of the North Atlantic Ocean
form a vast eddy which gathers this weed into its vortex in such
quantities that early navigators thought it hindered the progress of
their ships. Discovered and named the Mar de Sargaco, by Columbus
on his first voyage it has, since then, become known as the Sargasso
Sea, the locale for numerous legends and weird tales. Alive and
crawling with sea life, it has been credited with the power of drawing
ships and men to realms of darkness and fates fraught with unknown
ONLY a narrow strip along the coastal line of the lower Florida
peninsula was known and explored when Dade County was
created. Half a century later this vast back country called
the Everglades was still an untamed waste. The United States Army
had combed the Big Cypress and land between the Caloosahatchee
River and the lower east coast during the Seminole Wars. In April
1856, from the sketches of these reconnaissances the Secretary of
War, Jefferson Davis, issued a military map of the peninsula of Florida
south of Tampa Bay. For years this map remained the only existing
guide to the interior.
In 1892 the Flagler and Plant railroad interests combined to
make a survey across the Everglades. The party set out from Fort
Myers and, working their way eastward, discarded supplies and equip
ment as they left the waterways of the western swamp and entered
the grass-covered Everglades. Half-starved, weakened, and unkempt,
they finally reached Miami, making the i5o-mile journey in about
three weeks. The railroads evinced no further interest in the Glades
and they remained undisturbed for almost a quarter century.
Meanwhile, Everglades drainage became an actuality. Thousands
of acres near Lake Okeechobee were drained and were producing
phenomenal crops. Men foresaw the same benefits accruing to land
holders in the lower Everglades.
In addition, thousands of tourists attracted to the lower west
coast were obliged to return by the same route they had used to
reach their objectives. Civic leaders believed that a road across the
Everglades would not only prove an attraction in itself but would
draw west coast visitors to Miami.
Various groups have been credited with the origin of the
Tamiami Trail, foremost among them being the late Captain James
F. Jaudon, of Miami, who was associated with the project from its
inception to its completion. A Writers Press Association release
dated November 2, 1926, describes Jaudon as a pioneer in the develop
ment of Dade County and an expert on good roads.
The Tampa-Fort Myers road was already in existence. The idea
for a road from Fort Myers to Miami originated in 1915 during a
meeting of Jaudon and Francis W. Perry, president of the Fort
Myers Chamber of Commerce, at Tallahassee. In that year road
114 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
building was uppermost in the public mind. The Dixie Highway
Association, meeting in Chattanooga May 20, to determine the route
of a proposed road from Chicago to Miami, defeated a plan to have
it run through the center of Florida. The defeated faction imme
diately formed the Central Florida Highway Association which met
at Orlando the next month and pledged support to a program that
included the Fort Myers-Miami Road.
At the request of the Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Dade
County Commission furnished the services of an engineer in making
the preliminary survey. Later the county created the Miami Marco
Road and Canal Commission consisting of Captain Jaudon, L. T.
Highleyman, and R. E. McDonald, who appeared before the trustees
of the Internal Improvement Fund at Tallahassee to request the
creation of a special road and bridge district in order to issue bonds
for the construction of the proposed Trail.
The county advertised for bids early in 1916 but none were
received. The county, thereupon, made another survey of the }7 l /2
miles of road extending to the Lee County line.
Meanwhile, newspapers in both Lee and Dade counties had en
dorsed the project and given it wide publicity. On July 16, 1916,
Dade County floated a $275,000 bond issue and awarded a contract
for the road. A paving company began the work on a sub-contract,
but encountered difficulties and could not complete its contract.
Although the county amended the original contract several times and
issued additional bonds to provide funds, the road to the Lee County
line was no more than a rough trail. Beyond that, the road was
even worse, for Lee County was 110 more successful than Dade.
The first trouble arose from advancing labor costs brought on
by the World War. The greatest problems, however, were of an
engineering nature. Originally the contractors attempted to lay a
rock fill directly over the Everglades muck to .make the roadbed.
This did not remain usable and gradually disappeared into the mud.
It became apparent that the muck would have to be removed
and a bed built up from the underlying rock formation. This re
quired a dredge, a canal in which to float it, and plenty of rock.
The latter lay in great quantities beneath the muck and could be had
by blasting which, in turn, would create the needed canal.
This expensive solution did not end the difficulties. About
twelve miles out, and extending for many miles beyond, was an ex
pansive stratum of flinty rock which required special equipment to
work. Furthermore, during long dry seasons, water in the canal
sank so low that the dredge was often stranded.
In 1919 it became evident that Lee County, having 121 miles
T A M I A M I TRAIL 115
to build, would be financially unable to complete the portion of the
Trail within its borders. The Chevalier Corporation, a land company
organized by Jaudon in 1917, and owner of extensive acreage in
Monroe County, offered to build a link in the Trail to dedicate it
for public use if Lee and Dade Counties would route the Trail
through the company holdings. The proposal was accepted but
actual construction did not begin until 1921.
In the beginning all labor, supplies, and equipment had to be
transported to the west coast and worked up the numerous creeks in
that area to a location near the new route. It took so long for the
engineers in charge to communicate with their home office at Miami
that radio apparatus for sending and receiving messages was in-
About this time Barron G. Collier, best known for his street
car advertising enterprise, began buying land in Lee County. In
1923, when the State legislature cut off the southern part of Lee
County to create Collier County, Barron Collier owned most of its
Almost immediately, contention arose over the change that had
been made in the route of the Trail. Sponsors of the new county
clamored for the original route which would take the highway out of
Monroe County and the holdings of the Chevalier Corporation, which
had done considerable work on its part of the Trail.
Two years later the Tamiami Trail was made part of the State
highway system and the State Road Department abandoned the
Monroe County route. The Chevalier people, and Monroe and Dade
Counties protested the change claiming that the corporation was
faithfully performing its part of a formal contract. The State at
last accepted the road as the "South Loop" and on an official road
map of Florida, published 1936, it appears as State Highway No. 27.
On other road maps, this section of the road is marked "closed."
Under State control, work progressed rapidly. The first con
tract issued by the State was signed August 23, 1925, and the Trail
was opened to the public on April 20, 1928. The total cost, from
Fort Myers to Miami, was $7,000,000.
Completed, this 3o-foot highway across the Everglades represents
twelve years of man-killing labor. Men worked waist-deep in
snake-infested sloughs for months building a crude cypress-log road
way to support the heavy drilling machinery. More than once the
treacherous mud oozed away and the iron monster disappeared into
the depths of the mire.
Crews of grimy men toiled in the midst of an unbroken desola
tion. Every now and then the silence was broken by a roar of ex-
116 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
ploding dynamite and the sodden men rested for a moment while
a geyser of black mud rose skyward, scattered, and dropped on the
sawgrass that hemmed them in.
Over it all hung a peculiar blue haze and, in the summer, a
gripping heat, characteristic of the inner Glades. Near each gang
of men a sharp-eyed guard, armed with a shot gun, was posted to
kill the poisonous snakes that infested the region. Farther west, in
Collier County, other armed men in lookout towers, watched the
convict labor used on part of the road.
One contractor declared that three M s built the Trail: men,
money, and machinery. Another observer declared that the three M s
might equally stand for muck, misery, and moccasins.
Today the Trail is noted, not for its greatness nor its cost,
but for the fact that it has opened the once "impregnable" and
still mysterious Everglades, a vast area unlike any other in the
From Miami westward, the swamps become increasingly dense
and the habitations correspondingly fewer. Signs of human life
gradually disappear until little is left except an occasional fisherman
trying his luck in the canal that borders the north side of the Trail.
Farther on, wild life comes into its own. Lethargic snakes slither
across the road; fish leap, silver-bright, from the sluggish water, and
huge turtles, some green, some brown, lazily sun themselves on rocks
just above the water s edge. A duck, surrounded by her young, drifts
slowly along, her wary eyes scanning bank and sky for enemies;
rarely, an alligator barks in the distance.
The number of water plants increases as the trail proceeds
westward. The spiked heads of cat-tails, blue and purple flags, and
yellow dog lilies are abundant. The airy, white, three-petaled blos
soms of the spider lilies resemble butterflies poised for flight. Every
where the water hyacinths rear their small, dark blue blossoms midst
stiff, upright leaves, polished like green arrowheads.
Westward the Trail passes through stretches of stunted cypress,
diminutive trees with whitish bark and delicate, bright-green foliage.
Beneath them great, grotesque roots rise like gnarled, conical pedestals
from the rank swamp grass. The landscape is that of the African
As the Trail enters the Big Cypress country, the trees are larger
and burdened with dark air-plants or Tillandsias. Airy and graceful
in great live oak trees in the hammocks, these air-pines appear
heavy and cumbersome when attached to the sparsely branched young
cypress trees. Now and then, tropical birds swoop across the high-
T AMI AMI TRAIL 111
way. Far in the distance heron or ibis swirl like white moths above
the gray skeletons of dead forest trees.
Strung across the State, close to the Trail, are six or eight Indian
villages, more or less pretentious, with oddly worded signs to catch
the tourist eye. As indicated by such signs as "Chestnut Billy Indian
Village" or "Corey Osceola Indian Village" these camps are usually
named for the head man of the camp.
MIAMI POINTS OF INTEREST
A DIFFERENT view and a more leisurely inspection of Miami s
environs are afforded by sightseeing boat trips. In addition to
those following set routes, a glass-bottom boat and several
speedboats may be chartered or will take passengers who are allowed
to choose their own course.
From the water the angularity of Miami s tall buildings com
bines with the fringed silhouette of the palms to form an unusual sky
line. The landscaped estates on their flat little islands contrast
with the white beaches and the undeveloped keys.
Virginia Key Miami River Millionaires Row Indian Village.
20 miles. Approximately 3 hours. Fare $i. Admission to village
25C. Boats leave Piers 6 and 7, City Yacht Basin, NE. 3rd St., 10 a.m.
and 2 p.m. daily Dec. through Apr.; 2 p.m. only other months.
As the steamer leaves the yacht basin professional musicians
play a gay tune and a lecturer begins calling attention to various
points of interest.
Across the bay to the L. is VIRGINIA KEY, a barren island
like the land on which Miami Beach is built. Virginia Key is the
most northerly of the Florida Keys, a long chain of low, coral islands
that stretch along the coast from Miami to Key West. The upper
keys are for the most part impenetrable mangrove jungles; on the
lower keys are lime groves. The adjacent waters are good fishing
U. S. COAST GUARD CUTTERS are usually moored at the
City Yacht basin docks awaiting emergency calls.
The boat turns into Miami River; this sluggish stream, only 5.7
m. long, is navigable all the way to its source in the Everglades.
Where the Seminole once poled his dugout between banks lined with
luxuriant vegetation are now cluttered fish markets, unkempt house
boats, oil tanks, and partially sunken rotting hulks a cross section
of river life more interesting than pleasant to see or to smell.
On the southern shore (L) at the mouth of the river is
BRICKELL POINT where the Brickell family, Miami pioneers,
still live. They built their home about 1872 and maintained one of
the early trading posts.
122 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
At S. E. Sixth St. is the FOGAL BOAT YARD (L) with four
dry docks capable of handling craft from a rowboat to a vessel of
1,000 tons or a length of 170 ft.
Just E. of the S. W. 2nd Ave. bridge on a two and one-half
acre plot, is the CITY CURB MARKET (R). Vegetables, tropi
cal fruits and flowers, fish, poultry and produce are sold in its roofed
Opposite N. W. ist St. from August to May is moored the
ANTONDOHRN, a boat maintained by the Carnegie Institution of
Washington, for scientific exploration. Each May it leaves on a
three months trip for exploration and study of marine life in the
Gulf of Mexico.
On the shore (R) just E. of the N. W. i2th Ave. bridge is the
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS BORDER PA
TROL and the garage for storage and service of patrol automobiles.
Just W. of the N. W. i2th Ave. bridge on the north shore is
the MERRILL-STEVENS PLANT (R), the largest covered dry-
dock yacht basin in the South. Two marine railways elevate boats
from the river. Eighty average-sized yachts can be accommodated
for storage in this basin.
Bordering the south bank of the river above the N. W. i/th
Ave. bridge are estates of some of Miami s pioneers and other promi
nent families. These have spacious landscaped lawns sloping down
to the bulkheads at the water s edge. On the COLONEL LAW
RENCE ESTATE is a banyan tree that has grown around the sus
pended rims of two coach wheels.
PIRATE S COVE COPPINGER S TROPICAL GARDENS,
(L) is just beyond (entrance from land). This inlet was once the
hiding place of pirates, hence the name Pirate s Cove Indian Village,
given to the Seminole camp that has occupied this place for nearly
half a century. A trading post here was the first and largest in
Florida, and was the home of the late chief, Jack Tiger Tail.
Biscayne Bay Sunset and Surprise Lakes Indian Creek Isle of
Normandy. 30 miles. Approximately 4 hours. Fare $i. Boats leave
Pier 6, City Yacht Basin, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily Dec. -Jan.; 10 a.m.,
1:30 and 4 p.m. Feb.-Mch.; 2 p.m. other months.
As the boat leaves the City Yacht Basin the guide points out the
MUNICIPAL STEAMSHIP DOCKS (L) where are ocean steam
ships of the Clyde-Mallory, Merchants and Miners, Peninsular and
Occidental, Clark, Bull, and other lines.
The boat passes through the west drawbridge of the COUNTY
BOAT TRIPS 123
CAUSEWAY, to reach the north side of the bay. The causeway,
approximately 3 miles in length and toll free, connects N. E. i3th.
St. in Miami with 5th. St. in Miami Beach. Dock space is provided
at the first bend for five large yachts. Bridges under which the
specially designed low built Ntkko sails afford access to Palm,
Hibiscus and Star Islands.
PALM ISLAND and HIBISCUS ISLAND (L) on either side of
this channel were both made by sediment pumped from the bay.
Among the estates on Palm Island is that of Al Capone; around it
dense foliage lines the inside of a high stone wall.
The route crosses a water course for boat races locally called
"the speedway." It was on this course that Gar Wood, designer and
driver of speedboats, competed with Captain Seagrave of England in
the 1929 international races.
As the boat approaches the entrance to COLLINS CANAL (R)
it circles part way around BELLE ISLE, so that passengers may
glimpse its palatial homes.
Past the VENETIAN CAUSEWAY BRIDGE, the boat turns E.
skirting Sunset Islands. These four islands, products of boom days,
were landscaped before being put on the market in the spring in
1936. On the shores are windbreaks of tall Australian pines which
obstruct a view of the islands from the water. The homes on these
islands are nearly all being built on a lavish scale; many of them are
designed in the ultra-modern style of architecture.
The boat continues N., turning east through the channel be
tween La Gorce Island and Normandy Isle, (R) into Indian Creek,
an artificial water course with white bulkheads, past Allison Island
on the Southern end of which is St. Francis Hospital, a Catholic in
stitution specializing in sun therapy. The buildings are in the midst
ot landscaped grounds that slope down to a private yacht dock.
Continuing S. on Indian Creek to 4ist. St., the boat passes the
home of many wealthy winter residents amid crimson hibiscus, purple
bougainvillea, pink and white oleanders and graceful palms.
Retracing the route to Flamingo Waterway, the boat enters the
waterway (L) proceeds through Surprise Lake to Biscayne Waterway
from which it turns S. into the bay; past palatial estates, it continues
through Sunset Lake which lies between Miami Beach and Sunset
Islands. At the lower end of Sunset Lake the boat turns west, passes
the Venetian Islands and to its pier in the City Yacht basin.
Government Cut and Coral Reefs. 5 miles. Approximately 3 l /2
124 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
hours. Fare $i. Boats leave Piers 8 and 9^2, City Yacht Basin, 10
a.m. and 2 p.m. daily Dec. through Apr.; other months 2 p.m.
These cruises enable passengers to see the deep sea life of the
coral reefs in addition to the large estates of wealthy winter resi
dents. Through the large plate glass are visible gaily colored species
of rare tropical fish as well as the varied coral formations and fans
and plumes of sea weeds that decorate the ocean s floor.
The Comrade II goes northeast across the bay, paralleling the
County Causeway and the palatial boats anchored there, to Govern
On the S. extremity of Miami Beach and N. of Government
Cut (L) is the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT RESERVA
TION (not open to the public). Here are the administration build
ing and offices of the resident division engineer, U. S. Army. At the
W. end of the grounds is a hangar housing two planes and a repair
and service department. The reservation functions as a base for
U.S. Engineers conducting harbor and waterway improvements.
On the south side of the cut on Fisher Island (R), is the
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT QUARANTINE STATION,
where health officers board all ships arriving from foreign ports for
To the north of the jetties directly on the ocean beach at the
PLANT OF THE MIAMI BEACH KENNEL CLUB (L) greyhounds
are raced nightly (Jan. -April).
On and around the MILLION DOLLAR PIER (L) extending
600 ft. over the Atlantic are many games of chance and other
Between Biscayne and First Sts. on the ocean front, adjacent
to the pier, is one of the oldest bath and recreation establishments
on the beach. From this point N. to ijth St. the beach is planted
in coconut palms; its white sands are dotted with vari-colored um
brellas and the bright costumes of the bathers.
Paralleling the beach is the municipally maintained LUMMUS
PARK (see Tour 5), named in honor of the first mayor of Miami
Beach. Sea grape trees fringe the ocean side and hedges of cropped
Australian pines line the inland.
About one mile off shore the boat stops over the reefs so that
the passengers may see the numerous forms of coral life, sea fan, sea
plume, brain, staghose, hand, mushroom and organ pipe corals.
On the return trip, after entering the bay, the boat turns N.
passing the Venetian Islands and along the palatial homes on the
bayside of Miami Beach.
The Mermaid covers practically the same trip. Instead of go-
Municipal Docks . . . Miami
Yacht Basin . . Miami
A Papaya Plant
Pan American Airways Base and U. S-
Office and Waiting Room . . . Pan American Airways
ard Station . . . Dinner Key . . . Miami
Shipping Baby Chicks by Air to South America
Dade County Tomato Field
Cultivating Pineapples in Miami Area
Farmers Market . . . Miami
Pastures Under the Palms . . Miami Area
BOAT TRIPS 125
ing through Government Cut, the boat goes southeast across the bay
and passes between Virginia and Biscayne Keys, undeveloped islands
south of Miami Beach.
This boat features a diver using a deep sea helmet that weighs
about 6$ pounds above water, 5 pounds under water. All corals
picked up by the diver are given to the passengers as souvenirs.
FROM the air, above Miami, there is a memorable view of islands,
keys, bay, ocean and hinterland. Flights over Miami and Miami
Beach, the ocean, and the Everglades, can be made in a slowly
cruising dirigible or a speedy land plane.
Air Tour 1
Miami Beach, Biscayne Bay, and ocean shore.
THE GOODYEAR BLIMP (operates on a 2Q-minute schedule dur
ing the winter season from the Dade County Causeway. Rates, $3 for
adults; $1.50 for children.)
Cruising in this dirigible at 50 miles an hour at an elevation
of 1,000 feet or lower, the motion is imperceptible.
From the blimp, the man-made islands in Biscayne Bay are pre
cise little villages set in green glass, where toy boats ride at anchor.
On Miami Beach deep green hotel swimming pools are rimmed by
dots of bright umbrellas. The long dark ribbon of Indian Creek
cuts through the length of Miami Beach, and separates rows of doll-
like houses from green golf courses where Lilliputians swing willow
At the end of the Beach, sea gulls drift above the ship channel
of the Government Cut on Virginia Key. The key itself is covered
by typical Everglades jungle growth.
Over the ocean the blimp flies lower for a view of dark coral
rock formations on the ocean floor. Game fish can be seen scurrying
to shelter when the shadow of the blimp disturbs them.
Fisher s Island, the home of W. K. Vanderbilt, can be reached
only by water or by air. Every detail of the estate with its beauti
fully landscaped grounds is visible from the windows of the blimp.
Between Fisher s Island and the mainland, the yellow, green,
gray and blue of the shallow bay contrasts with the deep green
of the dredged ship channel. The airship rides above these colors
lazily and rises above the sky-scrapers of the Miami skyline. It skirts
the edge of Bayfront Park before returning to the base on the
Air Tour 2
Coconut Grove, The Deering Estate, Pan American Airport,
Hialeah Park, Metropolitan Miami.
AIR TOURS 127
A charter trip of the GOODYEAR BLIMP of ore hour, for sir: fias-
scmjcrs, forenoons $25.00; afternoons $50.00, if scheduled one day in
advance, from base on Dade County Causeway.
This tour follows the south shore.
Past Government Cut, rounding the Vanderbilt Estate, the
ship swings over Viscaya affording the only available view of the
Deering Estate and its formal gardens. Then over Coconut Grove,
and into a view -of the Pan American seaplane base in its setting
North from Coral Gables with its fluted roofs, is Hialeah Park
and a sweeping view of the famous race track. The blimp drops
low enough to startle the pink flamingos wading in the infield pool.
East of metropolitan Miami the ship starts to descend. The dome
of the court house sparkles in the sun. The hotels along the bay
front begin to assume their normal proportions. The sand floor of
the Causeway base arises, and the blimp settles to its mooring.
Air Tour 3
The Everglades and Florida Keys. The Whitewater Bay Section
over the Cypress area.
A charter trip of the GOODYEAR BLIMP of 4 or 5 hours for 4
passengers, forenoons, $25.00 per passenger, or $100 per trip, if scheduled
one day in advance from base on Dade County Causeway.
This offers an exciting view of the Everglades and the Florida
Keys. The coral formation of the keys can be easily seen and
marine life studied. Tropical and salt water fish are seen in the
clear streams and lagoons along the keys, schools of shark and bar
racuda, are plainly visible, while the Keys themselves stretch to the
south like green ottomans on a turquoise carpet.
Great flocks of birds are often sighted; heron, ibis, and other
tropical birds flying toward the Everglades over coral rock forma
tions submerged in water of many vivid colors.
The tropic beauty of the Everglades National Park unfolds be
neath the cruising ship. Here flamingo, heron and other exotic
birds feed in safety; deer, alligators, wild turkey and other game
enjoy freedom in retreats that even Indian hunters cannot reach.
The hidden hunting villages of the Seminoles themselves are within
close range of amateur photographers in the gondola.
POINTS OF INTEREST
AYFRONT PARK, Biscayne Blvd. between SE. 2nd St. and NE.
6th St., and extending to Biscayne Bay, consists of 42 acres of
land pumped from the bay and landscaped with tropical shrub
bery. Pelicans and gulls are seen on a sandspit jutting out into the bay.
The AMPHITHEATRE was the scene on February 15, 1933 of
an attempt on the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then President-elect,
that resulted in the death of Mayor Anton J. Cermak, of Chicago;
in March, 1939, a plaque was unveiled in his memory. The amphi
theatre is planted with profusion of royal and coconut palms and has
a cream yellow stucco stage of oriental design with a gray platform
and a red bordered brown curtain. A turquoise colored marquee
bordered with a red and green striped awning topped with a dome
painted turquoise and buff covers the central stage. The stucco
structure is topped by two towers with onion-shaped domes painted
in blue and silver. The equipment includes a loud-speaker and the
green benches seat 8,000.
The main PROMENADE, bordered by vivid flower beds, and
hedges of royal palms and clipped pine leads from the foot of E.
Flagler St. to the bay. Benches line the promenade and the bayfront
where Miamians and visitors come to watch the sunrise or the re
flected glow of the sunset. Strollers crossing the park s broad
lawns should watch for almost invisible guy-wires that anchor many
of the large trees against the wind.
North of the main promenade are two telescopes of the South
ern Cross Observatory. The telescope is placed on an iron standard
and is furnished with eye pieces allowing magnifications from 55 to
260 power, diagonal and sun glasses, and slow motion apparatus.
Free lectures are given Tues., Thurs., Fri. and Sunday Evenings.
A ROCK GARDEN in the park, built of coral rock and
planted with palms, ferns and other tropical growths is a cool
haven. There is a stone house and benches here and bird song can be
In the MUNICIPAL YACHT BASIN, N. of Bayfront Park
at Biscayne Blvd. and NE. 6th St., stream-lined pleasure boats
and deep sea fishing boats come and go daily. At one of the piers
POINTS OF INTEREST 129
tickets are sold by the carnival method for sightseeing, fishing and
glass-bottom boat trips. At another pier is the deep sea fishing
fleet where trim speed-boats dock, advertising "one or two places for
tomorrow." People crowd the pier when the fishing boats come in,
bearing their catches of sailfish, shark, barracuda, tarpon and other
deep sea game fish. Then the shining gear of the boats and the
day s catch are open to inspection. Most boats have bamboo poles
attached to the cabin which are drawn up when in port like masts
but dropped at an angle when in fishing waters so the bait swims
high on the surface to attract gamey fish. Several boats have
harpooning decks extending forward from the bows. Game fish
prizes are posted on a large mechanically operated bulletin board.
The MIAMI AQUARIUM (R) is a ship set in sand on Bis-
cayne Blvd. at NE. 6th. St. In front of the entrance girl artists
make portrait sketches for a tip, and two agile monkeys, chained
to a revolving iron ladder, swing tirelessly around and around.
The vessel is the Prinz Valdcmar an old Danish barkentine. During
the boom it was converted into a night club, and while it was being
towed to its location off Miami Beach, it sank in the bottle neck
of Miami harbor, blocking it when the city was in greatest need of
lumber and supplies stowed in the ships waiting outside. After
several months, it was raised and brought to its present location.
In 1927 it was set in cement and fitted out as an aquarium. Live
exhibits include sea turtles of several species, starfish, sea anemones,
sea urchins, stone crabs, crawfish or Florida lobsters, shrimp, sea bis
cuits, conchs, morays (infectious but non-poisonous eels), sharks,
stingrays or "stingarees," alligators, crocodiles and two manatees or
sea cows, seldom seen in captivity. Mounted specimens include a bar
racuda, a jewfish, a swordfish, a shovel-head shark and scores of shell
In cages on the upper deck are Florida "gophers" or terrapins,
ground hogs, a baboon, monkeys, four raccoons, an eagle and, sur
prisingly enough, two bob-tailed chickens. There are tables on
deck for eating and drinking and seats for those who wish to sit
and look out over the fishing decks and the sparkling waters of
The MIAMI DAILY NEWS TOWER, Biscayne Blvd. at NE.
6th St., standing near the site of the original Florida East Coast
R. R. tracks, is a representation of the Giralda tower of Seville. This
ocher-colored adaptation has somewhat modified the structure of
modern needs in the introduction of extra windows, but the gen
eral effect has been preserved.
The portals of this building embody striking detail in huge
130 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
capped columns and scroll arch, with a Spanish shield or keystone.
Within the foyer are panels in relief depicting the evolution of the
art of painting.
The MIAMI HARBOR, E. of the News Tower, occupies
an area purchased by the city from Henry M. Flagler at a cost of
$1,000,000. Great liners dock here during the tourist season, many
of which come from foreign ports.
DADE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, W. Flagler St. at NW.
i st. Ave., is the most imposing structure of the community and
occupies a full city square. Resting upon a pedestal base, the
general style is that of a straight line levantine composition. The
lower floors are a reproduction, in pillars and frieze, of the Par
thenon. Above this section several other stories are supported
by fluted columns surmounted by floriated caps. Just under the
pyramid apex a fine example of an octagonal Greek temple with
"criteria" embellished gable roof appears. Mosaics adorn the ceiling
of the main corridor.
The 1 6th to the 25th floors are occupied by the city and
county "escape-proof" jail. The pyramidal summit is 28 stories
above the pavement. Completed at a cost of $4,000,000 in 1928
the building is illuminated at night and can be seen 15 miles away.
The CITY CURB MARKET, SW. 2nd Ave. and Miami River,
is a white building with a red tile roof and open on all sides. One
end is devoted to small plants and flowers, cut and potted, on
counters or in tiers against the wall.
Fresh, locally grown vegetables are piled high in the stalls;
tropical jellies and preserved fruits are displayed; odd fruits such as
the brown sapodilla, guava, mango, scarlet Surinam cherry, golden
tangelo and kumquat are ranged side by side with oranges, grape
fruit, tiny lady-finger bananas, and strawberries. One corner of the
building contains the meat department. The fish and seafood stalls
are in an adjoining building, directly on the river bank.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, E. Flagler St. at SE. 3rd
Ave., is a white stucco rectangular structure with a Corinthian
facade. A square tower at the rear of the edifice is designed like
that of an old Scottish church. This, Miami s oldest church, was
completed in 1900. Almost incredible offers were made for the
land during the boom but Henry M. Flagler, the donor of the land
and builder of the church, specified that it was never to be sold.
SITE OF ROYAL PALM PARK, just E. of the church, is in
dicated by a few of the original coconut palms. Here stood the
band shell, destroyed by fire March 21, 1928, where William Jen
nings Bryan once held his out-door Bible classes, and where Arthur
POINTS OF INTEREST 131
Pryor s band played twice daily during the boom. The grounds
are now occupied by several buildings and a parking lot.
ROYAL PALM HOTEL GROUNDS, SE. 2nd St. and SE. 3 rd
Ave. was once the site of the Royal Palm Hotel. The gardens
contain many large specimens of tropical trees and shrubs. The
large frame structure painted the yellow and white with which
Flagler often adorned his buildings, was demolished in 1930. After
the Breakers Hotel burned in Palm Beach those who had patronized
the fashionable Flagler hotels began to consider these wooden build
ings fire traps. The furnishings of the Royal Palm were shabby.
During its last days visitors paid $25 for a room in which they
were likely to stumble over the worn carpets. Flagler s F.E.C. went
into bankruptcy, the buildings needed repairs, business didn t war
rant any restoration and this combination of events caused the hotel
to be closed. When the building was torn down the lumber was so
was so eaten by termites it could not be sold as second-hand ma
PFLUEGER S MARINE MUSEUM, 1367 N. Miami Ave.,
was once a bank building. The high ceiling supported by massive
columns in the one time lobby makes an impressive setting for the
hundreds of mounted fish that, in or out of glass cases, line the
snow-white walls. The large cases fit between the columns and are
perhaps eight inches deep; the narrow cases are the width of the
columns and very shallow. Each case has a reef scene painted
naturalistically as a background for the brilliantly colored fish. Al
most every kind of fish found in Florida waters may be seen; red,
blue, green, gold, black, purple. They run the gamut of rainbow
colors. Odd and exotic in appearance, some of the names are
intriguing: rainbow parrot, mud parrot, red-lined parrot, four-eye
butterfly, angel, trigger, tang, and file.
The museum is open daily from 9 a. m. to 7 p. m. and admis
sion is free.
MIAMI LUMMUS PARK TOURIST CENTER, NW. 3 rd St.
and NW. River Dr. (R), has a RECREATIONAL AREA of bowl
ing greens, croquet, roque, horseshoe and shuffleboard courts, a
clubhouse, an illuminated checker and chess pavilion and a juvenile
section. Miami Lummus Park is not to be confused with Miami
Beach Lummus Park.
OLD FORT DALLAS, NW. section of the park, was built
by Federal soldiers during the Seminole War and was the southern
terminus of the Capron Trail. The building was originally at SE.
132 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
ist Ave. and Miami River. The present structure, housing the
headquarters of the D.A.R., is of white limestone with doors and
windows of hand-wrought iron. The building was made from the
materials of the original fort.
The SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE, directly N. of the park,
a large buff stucco building with a green tile roof and pyramided
dome, is distinguished by its trend toward Egyptian architecture.
The bold lines of the heavy pillars from base to cap are topped
by figures of the two-headed Phoenix.
COPPINGER S PIRATES COVE AND TROPICAL GARDENS,
N.W. 19th Ave. and Miami River, (open 8-6 daily; adm. 2Sc) (see Boat
KNOWLTON S TROPICAL FISH AQUARIUM, 1525 N.W.
2jth Ave. (R) (open 9-5 daily), is a shop with many varieties of
tropical fish, goldfish and a collection of tropical birds including
canaries, parakeets and doves.
ORCHID DELL GARDENS, .NW. 2 7 th Ave. NW. i6th
St. (R) (open 9-5 daily: adm. 25c), has rare and commercially
grown orchids. Broad-leaved ferns hang on the walls and in one
corner a decorative fountain trickling into a mossy pool preserves
the proper degree of humidity within the building.
MUSA ISLE INDIAN VILLAGE, NW. 26th Ave. and Miami
River, (open 9-6 daily; adm. 25c), presents the Seminole Indians
as they live in their camps. At the entrance to the camp is a trad
ing post where the handiwork of the Indians is displayed for sale.
Insida the village are the thatch-roofed platforms where the Indians
live. Here also are a small zoo and a museum containing specimens
of animal and bird life. Alligator wrestling is featured morning and
afternoon, the exact time depending on the crowd.
HEN HOTEL, NW. 2 7 th Ave. and NW. 34 th St. (L), is a
large unfinished structure that was started as a hotel during the
boom of 1925. A hatchery composed of 60,000 laying hens 50,000
fryers and 50,000 incubator chicks was once housed here and since
that time the building is facetiously called the "Million Dollar Hen
BISCAYNE FRONTON, NW. 37 th Ave. and NW. 35 th St.
(adm. 25*7), is a large, coral tinted stucco building. A marquee is
supported by blue columns with red capitals. Exhibitions of jai-alai
are played here each night throughout the winter (see Sports}.
HIALEAH PARK RACE TRACK, E. 4 th Ave. and 2 5 th St.
(L) (open 7-6 daily, free, except during racing season when adm.
POINTS OF INTEREST 133
is $1.35 for grandstand, $4 for clubhouse], is approached through
an avenue of tall royal palms planted with oleanders and a croton
hedge. The vine-covered grandstand and the clubhouse built in 1931
are screened with clipped Australian pine and planted with purple
bougainvillea; the combined seating capacity is 10,500. The wide,
oval track, set in a broad expanse of lawn and vivid flower-beds,
surrounds a 32-acre lake in which pink flamingos, seen from the
grandstand, look like a great bed of pink water-lilies. These birds,
300 in number were brought from southern Cuba and are kept in
the park by clipping their wings. Flamingos normally nest only in
the tropics, and the one bird hatched in the park lake in 1936 was
at that time the only one known to have been born in North
America. It died at three weeks of age and is mounted, together
with an adult specimen, in a glass case on the southern pavilion.
During the winter of 1939-40, however, sixty-five young birds were
hatched, all of them surviving. Black swans and white swans are
also kept in the lake. A 2$o-foot trellis at the back of the grand
stand is overgrown with purple bougainvillea. Behind the stands is
the Australian totalizer, a large electrically operated board upon
which the winners and the odds are posted. About 1,500 horses
are housed in the stables which are a part of the race track plant.
The SEA SHELL HOUSE, 2115 NW. 5 6th St. (private) was
constructed with 44 bushels of sea shells, geometrically patterned
and imbedded in cement. The owner collected the shells at beaches
on the east Florida coast.
The NATIVE WOOD EXHIBIT, 2923 NW. 7 th St., (adm.
free), is the result of years of research and collecting by the late
owner, H. B. Vivian. Among the collection of native woods, seeds,
and leaves are an assortment of dried anonas including cherimoya,
soursop, sugar apple and "Bullock s heart."
Some specimens show the various uses of the common palmetto
trunk; several hard spheres resembling mahogany cannon balls are
tree calabashes; an odd idol-like figure is made of red berries from
the aden-enthera tree of Africa, otaheite apple wood, and choma
tecoma argenta wood from Africa; a table has been manufactured
from a strangler fig bole, a segment of which serves as the table
top. The single leg is a red-stopper, a Florida hammock tree. There
is a full-grown coconut the size of a small hickory nut; a man-sized
vase, its lower half a gigantic coconut bole, hollowed out, the upper
half a cabbage tree trunk.
Glass cases line the walls, in which are displayed thousands of
seeds and dried leaves, native and exotic.
134 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
MIAMI WOMAN S CLUB BUILDING, at NE. i/th Terrace
and the Bayfront, is a five-story buff stucco building with a red
tile roof and three tiers of balconies overlooking a patio on the
north side of the building. This club maintains the FLAGLER
MEMORIAL LIBRARY (open 9:30-5:30 daily except Tues. and
Sat., 9:30-9). The MIAMI FLORIDA WPA ART GALLERIES are
also located here. (Open 9-4 daily except Sundays.)
A large CRYSTALLIZING PLANT, 3831 NE. 2nd Ave. (R)
(open 9-5 week days; guides) gives forth an aroma of candied fruit.
The four-story buff stucco building is trimmed with green. The
specialty is fruit cake baked in crystallized grapefruit. Fruit crystal
lizing in this plant requires up to 30 days for completion.
LIBERTY SQUARE, NW. nth Ave. to NW. ijjth Ave. be
tween 62nd and 6/th Sts., is a 62-acre tract on which a Negro
housing project is built by the Federal Housing Administration at a
cost of nearly $1,000,000. In the center of the square is an admin
istration building and recreation hall of white stucco with grayish
white shingles. The other 34 buildings are made of similar ma
terials, and consist of 243 family units fronting on palm-planted
courts provided with sand piles and playground equipment for chil
dren. The houses are of storm proof construction and an air of
cleanliness prevails throughout the project. In 1939 there were 730
additional units provided at a cost of approximately $1,600,000.
BRICKELL PARK, Brickell Ave. between jth and 6th Sts. (L)
has a variety of tropical vegetation.
SIMPSON PARK (open) S. Miami Ave. and S.E. ijth Rd. was
named for Dr. Charles T. Simpson, pioneer South Florida naturalist,
and created for the preservation of one of the few native hammocks
in the city. Picnic grounds are open to the public.
VILLA SERENA, 3115 Brickell Ave. and 3 2nd Rd. (L)
(private) was the home of the late William Jennings Bryan. The
large, white stucco house with green tile roof of Colonial design, is
visible through tropical shrubbery.
The JAMES DEERING ESTATE, 3250 S. Miami Ave.
(private) , is known as Villa Viscaya. After five years of construc
tion, it was completed in 1916 at a cost of $15,000,000. The house
and grounds are screened from the road by a pink concrete wall
POINTS OF INTEREST 135
with primitive designs or symbols scratched into the concrete, topped
with festoons of orange flame flower and purple bougainvillea. The
house is not visible from the road.
U. S. COAST GUARD AIR STATION (open 1-5 S*/., 10-5
Sun.) S. Bayshore Dr. at Aviation St., has a gray stucco hangar
housing the planes of the Coast Guard fleet. The hangar opens on
the east where a concrete runway gives amphibian planes passage
into the bay. From S. Bayshore Dr. the building is approached
through a landscaped yard; the main drive is lined by hibiscus and
red-leaved acalyphia clipped to uniform size.
In times of national emergency the Coast Guard comes under the
jurisdiction of the Navy; otherwise it operates under a branch of the
Treasury Department. Aside from rescuing crippled craft, the
Coast Guard provides medical service for those taken ill at sea,
makes flights with serum, and transports ill seamen to the Key
West Marine Hospital. Other activities include transportation of
Federal prisoners, aerial surveys, storm warnings, and mosquito control
flights. The Dinner Key Station was established in 1932.
PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS BASE (open), 2500 S. Bayshore
Dr., is approached through an avenue of royal palms centered with
a parkway planted with purple bougainvillea, scarlet hibiscus and
other tropical plants.
On the bayfront the terminal building, erected in 1934 on land
pumped in from Biscayne Bay, is a smooth white stucco structure of
modern design, two stories high in the center, with one-story wings.
The central two-story section is circled with a yellow and white
frieze of rising suns and winged globes and is connected at the
corners by sculptured eagles. Standard weather equipment is mounted
on top of the building.
Quiet shades of blue and gray decorate the interior. In the
center of the room a zo-foot revolving globe shows the airlines in
colors. The beamed ceiling, two-stories high, is decorated in blue
and gray with signs of the zodiac surrounding a compass. A frieze
in the same tones of blue and gray traces the progress of aviation
from Leonardo da Vinci s design of 1490 for a bird-shaped air
plane to the Martin commercial ship of 1933. On the mezzanine
floor are offices and a restaurant and a cocktail room overlooking
The operations of the airline are carried on with quiet efficiency
and courtesy in offices and through grilled ticket windows. Blue-
clad pilots and airline officials move in and out through doors to
the loading piers. An omnipresent voice speaking through a care
fully toned loudspeaker system announces departures and arrivals
136 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
of clipper ships to and from West Indian and South American
ports Havana, Merida, San Juan, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires.
From an outer promenade, atop the single-story wings of the
building, takeoffs and landings of the giant clipper ships can be
seen. Passengers are ushered into an outgoing plane, the door is
closed, moorings are loosed, the four motors begin to throb, the
plane moves out between two rows of buoys, leaving a broadening
white wake behind, turns into the wind in open water, and presently
is in the air settling to its course. Soon it is only a dot against
a bright sky. The watchers on the promenade come to, sigh, put
their cameras away, and go downstairs.
Pan American planes run daily both ways to Havana, a i l /2-
hour trip, and every Thursday to Merida, Mexico, in 5 hours.
There are daily trips to Nassau, requiring only 2 hours.
Clippers come and go five times a week to Buenos Aires, by the
east and west coasts of South America. The east coast trip takes 6
days of daytime flight, with stops at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Port of
Spain, Trinidad; Para, Brazil; Recife, Brazil; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The more direct west coast
route take 4^/2 days, with overnight stops at Barranquila, Colombia;
Guayaquil, Ecuador; Arica, Chile; Santiago, Chile; ending the run
at Buenos Aires.
Points of Interest in Miami Environs
HE NORTH MIAMI ZOO (open 9-6:30 daily: adm.: 2$c, chil
dren 15^), 1 3 6th St., North Miami, is privately operated and was
formerly known as the Opa Locka Zoo. More than 200 ex
hibits include 3,000 animals and tropical birds, and a reptile collec
tion of unusual variety. Every afternoon at 4 o clock and hourly
on Sunday an animal show is conducted; trained monkeys, dogs,
ponies, and birds are exhibited at these shows. The New York Zoo
logical Society sent a colony of giant Galapagos turtles to the zoo,
which, although still relatively young, weigh over 200 pounds each.
When brought to the zoo a few years ago these mammoth land
turtles weighed about seven pounds each.
Many of the exhibits are kept in outdoor cages. Some animals
are tame and several wander at liberty including a young deer and
GREYNOLDS PARK, Dixie Highway just north of North
Miami, was built and landscaped by CCC labor in an area of
abandoned rock pits. A stone observation tower with a spiral
ramp is patterned after an Aztec temple. A pavilion of native
rock overlooks the blue lagoons of the former rock pits. On the
western side of the park are picnic grounds in a native hammock,
and groves of glossy Caribbean pines. There are boating and swim
ARCH CREEK, NE. 2nd Ave., North Miami, is bridged
by a natural rock formation. During the Seminole Indian War this
bridge was the scene of several skirmishes, and from Indian mounds
nearby many shell and stone artifacts have been taken. Some of
these artifacts are on display at a house (open) beside the bridge.
The BATTLE CREEK SANITARIUM, Park Way, Miami
Springs, is the southern division of an institution founded in Michi
gan by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. The building resembles the
cliff-dwellings of the southwestern American Indians; story rises
above story in a terrace-like arrangement and the whole is topped
by a mound-shaped cupola. It was built for a hotel by Glenn
Curiiss, the pioneer aviator.
The EASTERN AIRWAYS, NW. 3 6th St., occupies buildings
that were formerly the terminal of the Pan American Airways. The
central building houses the waiting rooms and offices; the adjoining
138 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
buildings are used as repair shops. The front grounds are beauti
fully landscaped; the landing field is in the rear.
The MIAMI MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, 11229 NW. 42nd Ave.,
the third airport established in the United States, was built in 1912
by the Curtiss Exhibition Co., headed by Glenn Curtiss, the pioneer
aviator. The annual Ail-American air maneuvers are staged here,
usually in December. Military, commercial, and private planes
converge on Miami from all parts of the country. A hundred navy
planes execute intricate maneuvers and aerial clowns put their
planes through stunts. Great army bombers drop earthward to
loose imaginary explosives while racing planes circle the pylons. An
exhibition of commercial planes, comparable to an automobile show,
is conducted in connection with the meet.
OPA LOCKA, NW. 2 7 th Ave., takes its name from the be
ginning and ending of Opatishawockalocka, the Seminole word for
hammock. Standing in a relatively high area, the domes and
minarets of its ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, patterned after
a Mohammedan mosque, can be seen for miles. The homes and
buildings for this area, developed by Glenn Curtiss, copy Moroccan,
Arabian, Egyptian, and Persian architecture, and the streets bear
The UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE AVIATION BASE
(not open), Opa Locka, is a 25o-acre tract where naval and marine
corps reservists attached to the station are trained. Property and
hangars are leased to the Navy by the City of Miami.
The MIAMI MUNICIPAL DIRIGIBLE HANGAR, Opa Locka,
is a black and orange building standing across the field from the
naval base. During the season this structure houses two Goodyear
blimps that make sightseeing trips from a downtown base.
The MOORING MAST, Opa Locka, is one of the five in the
U. S. with complete mooring facilities for large dirigibles. The
Macon, the Akron and the Graf Zeppelin are among the ships that
have moored here.
COCONUT GROVE CHAPMAN
FIELD MIAMI BEACH
COCONUT GROVE, five miles southwest of Miami was a settled
community when Miami was but an Indian trading post. It
was a rough community, however, being composed of families
who eked out a bare living from the dubious "profession" of wreck
ing or the manufacture of coontie starch which was transported by
boat to Key West. The few houses were crude shacks built of lum
ber salvaged from wrecked vessels.
Located on Biscayne Bay, east of Coral Gables, the Coconut
Grove of today is a residential section characterized by the quiet
dignity of its many secluded homes. On the eastern boundary,
fronting the bay are the larger and older estates, their backs turned
to the Grove, isolated and aloof behind high walls, screened by a
dense jungle of trees and tangled vines.
Between these estates and a Negro settlement on the west is the
newer Coconut Grove where writers, scientists, and professional men
have built more modest homes. A wide variety of architectural
types is represented and harmonized by lofty trees and tropical shrub
bery. Toward the north, farther from the bay, is an area mostly
occupied by smaller houses, the homes of laborers, tradesmen, fisher
men and their families.
Hotels, apartment buildings, and rooming houses, abounding
in other sections of Miami, are infrequent in Coconut Grove. Electric
signs and sidewalks are generally lacking except in the small business
district. Automobiles provide the usual means of transportation
and pedestrians are rarely seen on the winding streets.
Social life in the Grove is one of small sets or groups and is
largely seasonal. Conservative and, for the most part, financially
secure, many residents spend their time fishing or golfing by day
and playing bridge in the evening. At one time when society was
more democratic the Housekeeper s Club was the center of social
activities but as it gradually became popular with tourists many of
the older Grove residents withdrew.
Such quiet forms of entertainment as they pursue during the
winter months are abandoned about the middle of April when they
close their homes, move north where they remain to vote or until
frost, and then journey back to their local homes for the winter.
Among the churches in this community are the vine-covered
142 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
St. Stephens Episcopal and the Plymouth Congregational. The New
England spirit of the latter has yielded to the environment to
the extent of adopting the model of the Spanish mission for its
architectural design. The Bryan Memorial, Methodist, is a mosque-
like building erected on land donated by William Jennings Bryan.
A simple white Georgian Colonial structure is the home of the
An atmosphere of the past and of the sea lingers about the
Grove, possibly because so much of the natural hammock has been
preserved here, or, it may be because so many old timers have
tales to tell of piracy and wrecking that took place not too long
Black Caesar, boldest of the pirates, had his lair in the deep,
blind-mouthed channels among the reefs and mangrove-covered keys
to the east and south. He was a giant Negro chieftain who had
been shanghaied aboard a slave trader off the coast of Africa and
shipwrecked on the southeast coast of Florida. In revenge, follow
ing his escape, he became a pirate and plundered passing vessels
until unfortunate owners and underwriters determined to wipe
out all such lawless bands. While attempting to save Blackbeard,
another pirate, Black Caesar, was captured by a patrol boat and was
hanged in the colony of Virginia.
For many years after the pirates had disappeared, their brothers-
in-crime, the "wreckers," made sailing along the Florida coasts a
nightmare for shippers and owners. These men shifted channel
lights or put up false beacons and waited, for vessels to ground or
sink. They then looted the ship s cargoes. The Coast Guard finally
broke up this practice which existed even into the present century.
Coconut Grove owes its existence to the sea. The first settlers
were men who obtained their sustenance from it, largely by wreck
ing. This practice, always illegal, became a "profession" by which
they gained a livelihood, sometimes precarious, sometimes lavish.
Building materials, food, and clothing, including not only the neces
sities of life but also its luxuries were continually washed ashore.
Many are the stories told of wine and liquors salvaged from the
waters around the Grove. One tale has it that at one time wine
was had in such quantities an old timer tried a full bath in it in an
attempt to cure his rheumatism. They tell of a Seminole, invited
to a find of pineapple cheese, beefiron and wine, who became so
heavily logged that his squaws could not move him and built a
palmetto shelter to protect him while he slept off the effects of his
Some credence is given these tales by Rev. E. V. Blackman in
COCONUT GROVE 143
his book, Miami and Dade County, Florida. He relates that, in
1886, Judge E. K. Foster came into this area to straighten out a
society "all messed up" over a local election contest and something
like 1,000 packages of good liquor that had floated ashore from the
wreck of a Spanish barque.
The original patentee of nearly all of Coconut Grove was
Edmund D. Beasley, a soldier of the War between the States. For his
services and resulting disability, the Government granted him 160
acres which he never occupied.
Dr. Horace P. Porter settled on this land in 1870, but appar
ently remained in possession only about six years. During that
time he cleared the tract and planted a coconut grove. All the
trees but two were destroyed by a storm in 1876 and Porter
abandoned the plantation.
Another early settler was Samuel Rhodes, one time county
treasurer, who laid out a town which he called New Biscayne at the
site of what is now Coconut Grove. It is said of Rhodes that he
kept the county s money in a tin box which he concealed in a
crevice of a rocky cliff near his home. This cliff was probably in
the Silver Bluff section which was later incorporated as a town and
subsequently became a part of Miami.
The sea brought to the Grove one of its best known settlers,
the late Commodore Ralph Middleton Munroe who once made
his home on Staten Island. One freezing morning in 1874 he saw a
boat, driven by a northeast gale, pile up on some broken crib-work
near his home. Securing a helper, he went to the aid of the help
less vessel and succeeded in freeing it from its perilous position
and bringing it to shelter. Thus he met its owner, William B.
Brickell, bound for Biscayne Bay with supplies for his Indian trading
post on the Miami River. Grateful for the timely rescue, Brickell
offered Munroe a tract of land near his post and enough pineapples
to start a plantation.
Three years later, Ralph Munroe visited his friend in South
Florida and succumbed to its tropical lure. It was not, however,
until 1882 that he was able to make it his permanent home. In
that year he returned, not to claim the land on the Miami River
offered him by Brickell, but to cast his lot with the pioneers of
Jack s Bight, now Coconut Grove.
In this little settlement lived Charles Peacock, his wife and
three sons, Jack Peacock, John Pent, Joseph Frow, his wife, two
sons and a daughter, and Samuel Rhodes. Ralph Munroe adds the
names of Newbold, Roberts, and Jenkinson.
It was Jack Peacock who, in 1884, built Dade County s first
144 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
hotel, the Peacock Inn, which, for many years, hospitably accom
modated those visitors who were satisfied with simplicity and comfort.
Later when Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hine and Edward Hine ar
rived from New Jersey, the women organized a church and the
first sermon was delivered in the Peacock Inn by a son of Harriet
Beecher Stowe. When funds were secured, Ralph M. Munroe donated
land for a church which was called Union Chapel, later taken over
by the Congregational Society and still later by the Community
In those days this was an isolated community, its only point of
communication, BrickelPs trading post, and its outstanding land
mark, after nightfall, Aunt Tilly Pent s outside cooking fire. Among
the pioneers, these men of the sea, a good boat was the most neces
sary, the most valuable possession.
It was only natural, in such a community, that boats and their
merits would become a subject to occupy the mind. It was natural,
too, that there should be a man who was an authority on boats. Such
a man was Old Ned Pent, boatbuilder and carpenter.
Occasionally, although he entertained a superstitious aversion
to the work, he was called upon to fashion a coffin when one of his
neighbors passed away. To overcome his peculiar reluctance and
obtain his service it was necessary to first furnish him a jug of
whiskey. It became the custom to lock the querulous old boat-
builder in his shop at sundown with the required lumber, tools, and
whiskey. By sunrise, Ned would be found asleep with a well-
finished coffin beside him. One morning following the usual proce
dure, Ned was found with the coffin completed to the last detail,
but in the middle of it was, unmistakably, a center board.
Ralph Munroe became the unquestioned leader in the affairs
of this struggling settlement. To it, he brought friends, who,
yielding to its charm, and his, remained to make it the delightful
place it is today. He pleaded for the preservation of wild life, par
ticularly for the green turtle, whose breeding grounds were once
along the Coconut Grove beach. He successfully fought the build
ing of sea walls, believing that they destroyed the picturesque beauty
of the coast line and endangered life and property by damming up
When he came to the Grove, coontie starch making was the
only industry. Hoping to develop the settlement, he tried unsuc
cessfully to grow sponges, to cultivate pineapples, and to start the
production of sisal. Though these attempts failed, he gave to the
community the "Presto-type" boat. The first one, which he designed
and built at his Coconut Grove home, he called the Presto. It is a
COCONUT GROVE 145
round-bilged sharpie, of very light draft, speedy, and easy to handle.
An innovation in boat building, it became known to all lovers of
Early in his career at the Grove, he attempted to establish a
post office but the number of residents was too small to meet Govern
ment requirements. Then one day, on a visit to Fowey Rock Light,
he found a document which read, "Coconut Grove Post Office, five
miles south of Miami, discontinued." This was his first intimation
that Jack s Bight had ever been known by another name. With
the aid of this document, he succeeded in having the post office re
established. Later he learned that the original post office had been
secured through the efforts of Dr. Horace Porter.
Commodore Munroe selected the old Porter plantation, in 1888,
as a site for his home. When he began to clear the land, he dis
covered a seedling nursery set with rows of limes, mangoes, and
avocados. Some of these trees are now in their prime. He planted
the coconut grove which, perhaps, supports the town s claim to its
present name. Rex Ingram, movie director, called it the most at
tractive grove he had ever seen. It was here that Ingram filmed
the picture "Where the Pavement Ends."
Sometime during the middle eighties, Kirk Munroe, writer of
popular stories for boys, was cruising in the waters of Key West.
Hearing that another Munroe lived at Coconut Grove, he and his
wife, the daughter of Amelia E. Barr, sailed up the coast to investi
gate. As many other visitors have done, he remained to make the
place his home. The two Munroes organized the now famous Bis-
cayne Yacht Club in 1887, with Ralph Munroe the first commodore.
Later, Kirk Munroe founded a boys school, now known as the Florida
Adirondack School for boys.
The Housekeeper s Club, founded in 1891, was the social center
of the entire countryside, attracting people even from the com
munity on the Miami River who came by boat frequently bringing
along their children for whom a nursery was provided. One night
a young friend of the Commodore, Dick Carney, later the venerable
Capt. Richard Carney, played a prank that was to become historic
in the realm of practical jokes.
When festivities at the club were concluded, the mothers gath
ered their children from the nursery, identifying their offspring
chiefly by the coverings with which they were wrapped. On this
memorable occasion, while the revelry was at its height, Carney stole
into the nursery and interchanged blankets and shawls on the sleep
ing children. If any serious developments followed they are not
146 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
recorded. Some of the old timers insist that this incident was used
by Owen Wister in his novel, The Virginian.
The growing settlement was a pleasant place, somewhat se
cluded and peaceful in appearance until the advent of the World
War. The United States Aviation Training School was established
at Dinner Key in 1917. This key is now the greatest marine airway
terminal of the Western Hemisphere.
Coconut Grove became a town in 1919 and was made a part of
Miami in 1925.
Points of Interest in Coconut Grove
COCONUT GROVE HOUSEKEEPER S CLUB, S. Bayshore Dr.
and McFarlane Road (private}, the oldest federated woman s
club in Florida, is built on land donated by Commodore Ralph
M. Munroe, early pioneer and marine architect. The two-story mission
style building has a front of rough, gray native rock. Founded in
1891 by Flora McFarlane, the club was the social center of the whole
countryside; people came to meetings by boat, particularly from the
community on the Miami River.
ST. STEPHEN S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Ingraham Hwy. and
Fuller St. is a small low building of white stucco with a red tile roof,
nearly concealed by vines and tropical growth. The interior con
tains five oil paintings by Howard Hilder.
PLYMOUTH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, at Ingraham
Hwy. and Devon Rd. is a reproduction of a Mexican mission. The
interior of the vine-covered stone building is constructed on the lines
of a basilica and the doors are said to have come from a Spanish
mission in Mexico. In one of the doors is a round cat-hole, now cov
ered with screen. Many outdoor weddings have been performed
at the pulpit in the walled garden.
The BRYAN MEMORIAL M.E. CHURCH, is an octagonal
building standing diagonally opposite the Plymouth Church. The
church was named in honor of William Jennings Bryan, although
Bryan was a devout Presbyterian.
The FORMER HOME OF RUTH BRYAN OWEN, Ingraham
Hwy. and Royal Palm Ave. (private}, was occupied by Mrs. Owen
when she was in Congress. The house is a two-story white stucco
building with two wings connected by a semi-open-air living room
enclosing a patio. It is a combination of Mexican and Spanish styles,
set well back from the street and bordered with shrubbery.
The BANYAN TREE, Ingraham Hwy. and Douglas Rd. has
aerial roots growing from the branches to the soil over a circumfer
ence of 30 feet. The full, rounded crown of the tree measures more
than a hundred feet across the top. Brought from Jamaica and
planted here in 1908, its size indicates the phenomenal growth since
CHAPMAN FIELD TOUR
COCOPLUM PLAZA, is a landscaped traffic circle formed by the
junction of Ingraham Hwy., Le Jeune Rd., and Granada Blvd.
The circle is named for the cocoplum tree that grows wild in
The CORAL GABLES CANAL was developed during the
boom to transport guests in gondolas from the Miami Biltmore Hotel
to Tahiti Beach, then owned by the hotel. The canal is now open
to boat traffic.
MATHESON HAMMOCK is a 4oo-acre public park on both
sides of the Ingraham Hwy. marked by walls of cut stone blocks.
Plants and trees of this native hammock are labeled. There is a
beach on Biscayne Bay, also anchorage facilities for small craft. West
of the highway is virgin hammock growth where lichens, air plants,
mosses and native orchids grow. East of the highway are picnic
tables, shelters and outdoor ovens. Both high and low hammocks
are included, although the latter suffered when the Snapper Creek
Canal was dug, drying up a natural spring in the park. Sinkholes
contain many ferns, and spreading live oaks grow in the hammock.
The SAUSAGE TREE (kigelia pinnata) stands in front of a
filling station, the grounds of which contain labeled tropical plants.
This is the largest specimen in the United States and is the one
survivor of several such trees propagated dby Dr. David Fairchild,
noted plant explorer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in
about 1905. The specimen came from the Victoria Lake region of
Africa. Its hard, sausage-like fruit, sometimes 27 inches long with
a weight of 15 pounds, hangs on a long rope-like stem during the
winter season. It is not edible. The tree blossoms from May throughout
the summer, bearing long pendant clusters of dark red flowers.
CHAPMAN FIELD, the United States Plant Introduction
Garden, was established in 1923. Under its control is an area of
about 1 60 acres, a portion of which was filled in by dredging canals
in the swamp lands between Chapman Field and the Bay. The
remainder of the field is composed of limestone and a little sand.
When this area was given to the Department of Agriculture, the
site was a flat of salty marl which had been pumped in, and was
barren except for pine trees. Since its acquisition more than 9,000
labeled plantings have been made.
The Garden is divided into quadrants. First Avenue, which
C // A r MAN FIELD TOUR 149
begins at the entrance, and First Street which intersects First Avenue
at right angles, are the streets that divide the garden into four
quadrants, North, East, South and West. Numbering of the blocks
begins at First Avenue and First Street, respectively, avenues parallel
ing First Avenue and streets paralleling First Street. Each block is
designated first by the quadrant letter, then by the avenue number
followed by the street number. No guides are available, but
visitors are welcome to the Garden and information is given at the
office. Because of the number of plantings, only the unusual are
Block E-I-I contains miscellaneous trees. Near the E. corner
stands the Elaeodendron quadrangulatum, (Brazil) the false olive, a
large dense, shrublike tree with glossy green leaves that resemble
Coccoloba grandi folia, a relative of the sea grape, attains an 80
foot height in the West Indies, and is conspicuous for its extremely
Two specimens of Garcinia spicata (India) have dense foliage
of glossy-leathery leaves.
Ficus roxburghii from India, is a low spreading tree with enor
Ipomoea arborescent (Mexico) is a bush or small tree with showy
white blossoms similar to morning glories.
Eugenia dombeyi, the Gumicharna of Brazil, has a palatable
Muntingia calabura, a small tree from Central America, pro
duces a gooseberry-size fruit of sweet and distinctive flavor.
Lucumia nervosa, the canistel or egg fruit, has flesh like that
of a sweet potato or sweetened pumpkin, and tastes more like a
dessert than a fruit.
Achras sapota, the sapodilla, tastes somewhat like a pear, but
its rough brown coat resembles a potato.
In Block E-i-2, at the corner of First Avenue and Second Street
ire two Lantania commersonii, large fan palms from Mauritius,
colored crimson on petiole and ribs of leaves; and two groups of
Coccothrinax argentea, the silver palm from the West Indies.
Within the block is a Cupressus Insitanica (Mexico) which is
cultivated as a forest tree in Portugal. It has a valuable aromatic
A group of Casuarina marginata, trees with drooping branches,
produce showy rose-colored flowers from July to December.
150 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Along First Street are Albizzia lebbekoides., a small-leafed shade
tree from the Philippines.
Near the office is an Elaeagnus philippensis, the Lingaro of the
Philippines, a rank-growing vine or shrub that produces quantities
of small, fragrant flowers followed by small edible fruit.
The large trees along First Avenue in Block -1-3 are Ficus
sycamorus or sycamore figs of Biblical reference, and the trees from
which the Egyptians made their mummy cases. At the E. corner
is a particularly fine Ficus glomerata, the cluster fig from India.
Aleurites -moluccana, Polynesian candle-nut, has a kernel within
its hard shell that contains oil which was used for lighting through
out the Pacific Archipelago until the introduction of kerosene.
Lysidice rhodostegia (southern China) has rose-purple flowers
and pale pink bracts in late spring.
Pitkecolobiumn brevifolium (Mexico) is covered with masses
of small white or cream colored flowers during the summer.
Along First Avenue in Block -1-4 are Ficus vegelii, large trees
with many aerial roots.
Within the block are several varieties of Myrciaria caul/flora,
the Jaboticaba, one of the favorite fruits of Brazil.
Covillea racemosa (Africa) has showy orange-colored flowers in
Near the back of the block a Sterculia from the Gold Coast of
Africa is characterized by very large palmate leaves.
On the pergola in Block E-2-i is a large vine, Congea tomcntosa
(Burma), covered in winter with a profusion of showy velvety
pinkish-orchid colored bracts.
A large screw pine near the W. corner is Pandanus tectorius.
At the N. corner is a Beaumontia grandiflora or Herald s Trum
pet, from the Himalayas, a large tropical creeper covered with flowers
that resemble Easter lilies.
A hedge of Eugenia corona fa (African Gold Coast) borders
one side. This plant has small dark green leaves and quantities of
tiny white flowers.
Near the E. corner is Jacaranda acutifolia, planted from seed
presented to President Roosevelt by the President of Argentina on
the former s good-will trip there.
Schefflera actinophylla, an ornamental Australian tree, has
beautiful foliage and an unusual and conspicuous terminal inflores
cence of radiating, showy, red spikes.
Two groups of palms, Sfyloma pacifica, the East Indian fan
palm, and caryota plumosa, a fish-tail palm, stand on the lawn.
Near the office in Block -2-2 is a group of the Natal plum,
Carissa grand/flora, a spiny shrub with dark green foliage, fragrant
CHAPMAN FIELD TOUR 151
white starry blossoms, and scarlet plum-like fruits that are eaten
raw or made into jelly. In front of the office is Ochrosia elliptica,
a shrub with leathery foliage and red inedible fruit. Near-by is a
Thirnax wendlandiana, one of the Florida fan palms.
In the patio between the office and the plant houses are bright
showy bougainvilleas; within the planthouses are numerous plants
including a collection of orchids.
A windbreak of tall Casuarina lepidophloia (Australia) forms a
wall of dark green along Block -2-3.
Miscellaneous trees form the planting in Block -2-4, among
which is a row of Ficus religiosa, (India and Ceylon), the Sacred
Bo tree under which Buddha is said to have spent seven years in
Extending S.E. on First Street from Third Avenue is an avenue
bordered with royal palms. The first four on either side are Roystonea
olcraccae (Central America), that grow 120 feet high; next, one
Roysfonea borinquena (Puerto Rico); then four of Roystonea regia;
then an older planting, all of Roysfonea floridana (Florida).
In Block -3-1 palms and unusual showy bougainvilleas pre
Among the palms, BenfinkJa mcobarica from the Nicobar
Islands is particularly graceful.
A collection of palms in Block -3-2 includes the tropical
American spiny Acrocomias; the Sabals, unarmed fan palms of the
Western Hemisphere; Ltnoma alba (Mascarene Islands of the Indian
Ocean) with long and gracefully curving feather-like leaves, and
from the same islands, Hyophorbe verschaffelfi, the pig-nut or
Block -3-3 is planted in coconut palms from Ceylon, bananas
and plantains from many places.
A collection of young palms is planted in Block -4-3. In the
edge of the water at the E. corner of the lagoon grows a small Ntpa
frutescens, which differs from other palms in that it can endure sea
water. It grows in great abundance along the swampy coast lines of
Borneo, the Malay Peninsula and the Philippines.
In Blocks -5-1, -5-2 and -5-3 are collections of nearly 300
hibiscus varieties, many of which originated here, while others were
Imported from Hawaii, Panama and Puerto Rico.
The vine collections in Blocks -6-2 and -6-3 include many
odd specimens. Unusual genera include Passiflora which has blue
flowers; Petrea, its lilac-like clusters bearing lavender and violet
flowers in the same cluster; B/gnonia with long tube-like purple
flowers; Aristolochia, the flowers of which look like toy ducks; El so fa
152 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
covered with large clusters of tiny purple flowers; and the Sttgmaphyl-
lon which bears clusters of yellow flowers.
In Block S-i-i many trees are planted, among which is a Cupres-
sus benthami, a Mexican cone-bearing tree. Near it on the shop wall
is a vine, Bignonia magnified, usually covered with purple bell-shaped
flowers. Vines of C&mbretum paniculatum are covered in March with
large panicles of scarlet flowers.
Interplanted with Flacourtia ramontchi, the Governor s Plum
which produces quantities of delicious plum-like fruit, are Khaya
nyassica (Rhodesia) or red mahogany trees, a valuable timber said to
be immune to termites. These trees are planted in a row in Block S-i-
2. Here also are several Adansonia digitata, the great African baobab
tree. Its trunk grows to a 3o-foot diameter and trees of this species
are thought to be the oldest plants in existence.
Block 8-1-3 includes Pachira fastuosa (tropical America), leaf
less in March when it is covered with showy pink or white blossoms
that resemble shaving brushes. Here are large trees of Syzygium
cumini (East Indies and Burma), the Java plum, valuable for making
wine and jelly. The Lagerstroemia speciosa, Queen s flower or tree
crepe myrtle produces masses of purple flowers.
A variety of young trees covers Block 8-1-5. Across from this
block is a hedge of Schinus terebinthefolius, the Brazilian pepper or
Christmas berry tree which produces vivid scarlet berries in mid
Among the miscellaneous shrubs, vines and trees in Block S-2-i
is the Combretum grandifiorum (Africa) on a tall trellis. The flowers
and some of the foliage at blossoming time are bright scarlet, and the
flowers contain so much nectar it can easily be shaken out.
Varied temporary plantings cover Block 8-2-2.
Block 8-2-3 is planted with shrubs, among which are Calliandra
surinamensis with dainty pink and white "fairy duster" blossoms;
Lawsonia inermis, mignonette tree yielding henna dye; Jatropha
hastata with glossy dark-green foliage and brilliant scarlet blossoms.
A vine collection is planted in Block 8-2-4, and in Block 8-3-1
are many bougainvilleas and palms.
Blocks 8-3-2 and 8-3-3 are planted with dwarf Malay Coconuts.
Among numerous palms planted in Block 8-4-1 is Copernicia
cerifera, the Brazilian Wax palm which yields the carnauba wax used
in manufacturing candles.
Elaeis gumeensis, the African oil palm, Block 8-5-1, is said to be
the world s leading oil-producing plant. The seed within the hard
CHAPMAN FIELD TOUR 153
shell produces oil used for margarines, cooking oils, and the grease
from the fleshy pericarp is valuable for trade purposes.
Block 8-5-3 * s Panted with varieties of Phoenix dactylifera, the
Separating Block 8-5-5 from the N.E. is an avenue of Melaleuca
icucadcndron (Australia), the cajeput tree. Near the N. corner is
a small Phlebotaenia cowellii, violet tree, found elsewhere only in
Puerto Rico. Quantities of violet-colored blossoms make a showy
display, and the wood is so hard that the Puerto Rican natives call
this tree "hueso," meaning "bone."
Blocks S-6-i and 8-7-1 are planted with miscellaneous shrubs.
Young plantings of miscellaneous trees cover Blocks W-i-i,
W-i-2, W-i-3, and W-i- 4 .
Blocks W-2-i and W-2-2 are irregular in form and definite
designation of plantings is difficult. The high rock fort-like walls
were erected as windbreaks when this site was but a wind-swept
rocky plain. Many palms, rubber trees, coffee, and Theobroma cacao
from which chocolate is produced are planted here. Palaqutum
f>hilippcnse, gutta percha tree has an odd leaf that is dark green on
top and satiny golden-brown underneath.
Outside the N. wall is a young Licania rig/da that produces oil
used in varnish, and so valuable that the Brazilian Government pro
hibits its exportation; this is one of the few species existing outside
Many palms grow in Block W-}-2 and in Block W-2-3 are
imported varieties of Litchi chinensis, the Chinese litchi.
Citrus species, avocados and mangos are planted in Blocks W-2-4,
W-3-i and W-4-i. West of the area lies 65 acres of pinewoods.
In the pot-holes of the area are hundreds of Hevea brasil/ensis coffee,
and one Mangosteen, a rare slow-growing fruit tree.
Outstanding in Block N-I-I is the Lodoicca sonnerati, which,
although not a true coconut, is commonly called the double coconut.
This is the largest seeded plant in the world. So far as it is known,
this specimen is the only one planted out of doors in the United
States. Four years are required for the fruit to mature from the
blossom. It weighs about 40 pounds and is not edible. Among other
trees here are Bauhinia galpinii with bright terra cotta blossoms and
the Cananga odorata, the Ylang-Ylang from whose fragrant greenish-
yellow blossoms perfume is made.
154 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Yellow flowers are produced on three trees in Block N-i-i:
the Tecoma argenfea, the Cochlospermum vitifolium and the Pelto-
phorum africanum. Here too, are two Kigelia pinnata trees (Africa),,
bearing huge "sausages," and Borassus flahellifer (Ceylon), the
Palmyra palm of many uses. Sugar is made from the sap.
Tectona grandis, teakwood tree, conspicuous for its extremely
large leaves, grows in Block N-i-}.
Block N-2-3, the rock pit, is an old rock quarry into which soil
was brought and more than 100 plant varieties were set. An unusual
tree Hernandia sonora (Sumatra) has curiously shaped nonedible
fruit. The black seed hangs from the center of a large, white,
translucent, inverted, bell-shaped covering; through a hole in the
bottom of this covering the black seed is seen. Many varieties of
aloes, ficus, and palms are here. Within the S. rock-walled corner
is Artocarpus commnnis, the breadfruit tree which is so sensitive
even to the cool weather that it does not thrive here.
About 50 varieties of mangos grow in Blocks N-2-i and N-}-!,
and Ficus species cover Block N-2-2. Miscellaneous trees and varied
young plantings are in Block N-4-i.
MIAMI BEACH GENERAL INFORMATION
RAILROAD STATIONS: Available in Miami.
AIR TRANSPORTATION: Air Ticket office, 1301 Washington Ave.; Air
Travel Service, 1445 Collins Ave.; Miami Seaplane Service, Inc.,
380 Alton Rd.; rates by chartered planes dependent on trip.
Bus LINES: (Interstate) Florida Motor Lines and Greyhound Lines,
515 Washington Ave.; Pan-American Bus Lines, 827 Washington
Ave.; local busses: Miami Beach Railway Co. terminal, Alton Rd.
at 5th St. Fare IDC.
TAXIS: Prevailing rates, I5C for first 1/5 mile, i$c for each 1/5
mile thereafter. No zoning system.
JITNEY LINES: Over both county and Venetian Causeways; Terminal
N.E. ist St. and Miami Ave., Miami. Fare roc and i$c, respectively.
TRAFFIC REGULATIONS: No unusual traffic regulations; all streets are
two-way except Sixth St., between Ocean Drive and Washington
Avenue. Parkometers on Ocean Drive, 5C for i hr. Parking lots
I5C to joe. Right turns allowed on all red lights.
SPEED LIMIT: Business section 15 m.; residential section 25 miles;
causeways, 35 miles. Slow traffic on causeways must keep to right.
Drivers licenses and semi-annual car inspection required.
STREET ORDER AND NUMBERING: All avenues, drives, and roads run
N. and S. except Lincoln Rd.; streets and ways run E. and W.
beginning with First St.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotels offer all classes of accommodations; many
open for season only. Year round hotels make reductions in summer
rates. Homes may be leased for the season. Apartments are avail
able by the day, week, month or season; also rooms in private homes,
with higher rates prevailing during the winter. There are no trailer
or tourist camps.
CAUTION TO TOURISTS: Excessive exposure to sunlight is inadvisable.
Fifteen to 30 minutes exposure the first time is sufficient. This
time may then gradually be lengthened from day to day until one
becomes accustomed to the sun.
INFORMATION SERVICE: Chamber of Commerce, Fifth St. at Alton
156 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
RADIO STATION: WKAT, 1759 N. Bay Rd.
AMUSEMENTS AND RECREATIONS: Eight motion picture theatres;
several commercial pools. Among them are: Roman Pools, 2 3rd St. at
Ocean Dr.; Deauville Pool, 6701 Collins Ave.
BEACHES: Miami Beach on the ocean front.
TENNIS: Flamingo Park, Meridian Ave. at nth St.; Washington
Park, Washington Ave. at 2nd St.; Lincoln Park, Lincoln Rd. at
Washington Ave. Fees vary according to the season and park.
DIAMOND BALL: Flamingo Park, Meridian Ave. and nth St. Fee roc.
GOLF: Miami Beach Municipal course, Washington Ave. at Collins
Canal. Daily greens fee, winter $i, summer joe. Caddie fee $i
for 1 8 holes. La Gorce Golf Club, 5701 Alton Rd. and Bayshore
Golf Club, 2239 Alton Rd., 1 8 -hole courses, offer season subscription
at varying rates, dependent on privileges.
OTHER RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Basketball, chess, checkers, horse
shoe, shuffleboard (roc hr. per person), volley ball, at Flamingo Park,
Meridian Ave. at nth St.; Diamond Ball, organ concerts, vaudeville
shows, (small admission). Art and Spanish classes, free. Supervised
play at Washington Park; Miami Beach Arena, South Beach, at Ocean
Dr.; Million Dollar Amusement Pier, South Beach at Ocean Dr.;
Free astronomical observatory, Miami Beach, Library grounds, Collins
Ave. at 22nd St. each Monday evening.
FISHING BOATS FOR CHARTER: Rates varying, are available at the
Chamber of Commerce and Floridian Hotel Docks, E. end of County
Causeway. At the Rod and Reel Club, Hibiscus Island off the County
Causeway, free information about all kinds of fishing may be
obtained. Fishing pier at Sunny Isles, N. Miami Beach, (small
NIGHT CLUBS: Inquire at hotels, as they change from season to
Post Office . . . Miami
Miami Beach Residence . . . British Colonial Type
Miami Residence . . Stucco and Glass Brick
HI ^ *
Fountain . . Coral Gables
Opa Locka Administration Building
Plymouth Congregational Church . . . Coconut Grove
Miami Beach Hotel
Miami Beach Post Offi
A Miami Doorway
Residential Street . . Coral Gables
Miami Beach Estate
A Miami Garden
CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS
(date* to be announced)
Annual Fashion Show, Roney Plaza Hotel Gardens
Continuous Art exhibit at Miami Beach Public Library
Fishing Tournament January to April
Annual International Miami-Nassau Yacht Races off Government
Cut, sponsored by Nassau Yacht Club.
Garden Tea at Harvey Firestone Estate, 4400 Collins Ave. sponsored
by Women s Association and Miami Beach Community Church.
llth Annual Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Race off Miami Beach. 30 miles.
Miami Beach Professional Tennis Tournament, $2,500 purse, Fla
Easter Sunrise Service, Ocean Front, Lummus Park
Miami Beach Annual Birthday Celebration
Miami Yacht Club Nassau Yacht Club, ocean sailing.
Greater Miami Fishing Tournament
Dade County Hallowe en Party, Parade Prize Program, Flamingo
Annual Christmas Eve Party, Flamingo Park
Miami Beach Kennel Club Opening.
THE STORY OF MIAMI BEACH
MIAMI BEACH stretches for seven miles along the barrier reef
that separates the Atlantic from Biscayne Bay, across from
Miami, thus providing seashore and sparkling "scenery" for the
mainland cities that make up this composite resort area. It has a
population of less than 29,000, yet crowds within its narrow limits
the sophistication of a metropolitan city of a million. Flash and ex
citement hold the spotlight, and when things are in full swing the
island city more closely resembles a spangled revue than a wealthy
Against an extravagant architectural setting, splashed with
crimson bougainvillea and the latticed shadows of palms, moves an
effervescent human mixture. By day, beach costumes compete with
the spectrum and by night jewels shatter it. Theatricals, sports and
social headliners attract fun-seeking thousands and these in turn
strive to become a vicarious part of the celebrity extravaganza. In
consequence, Miami Beach draws the great, the ambitious and the
sycophant touts and dubious sports, big shot gangsters and
gamblers, notables of the stage, screen, and boxing arena, financial
and social luminaries, chronic first-nighters, and seemingly all the
rest of the country s professional ringsiders who thrive on flashlight
Quite consistently, this Miami Beach has its Minsky s Burlesque,
its keno parlors, its corner saloons and back-room bookies, its
championship prize fights and its supercharged night clubs to extract
winnings from lucky horse track customers; its swagger surf clubs
and brilliant beach cabanas; its Lincoln Road, aglitter with the famil
iar fashion shops of New York, London and Paris; its Ocean Boule
vard lined with sleek new hotels and apartments; its Pine Tree Drive
shaded by wind-breaks of Australian pine, serving to remind that but
a few years before all this was the site of a pioneer homestead; and
finally, it has its remnants of free beaches for local citizens and
A slender strand of seashore holds together the foibles and pre
tensions of the transients, but to the lee of this prevails an atmosphere
that ignores the nearby carnival fanfare. Composed mostly of land
dredged in from Biscayne Bay and attached to existing sand dunes
and mangrove flats, the city is in reality a group of landscaped islands,
surrounded by protected waterways. Quiet lagoons and meandering
STORY OF MIAMI BEACH 159
canals provide safe moorings as well as miles of choice waterfront
sites occupied by costly homes, combining taste, charm and tropical
beauty. This restrained though richly resplendent environment
dominates the place rather than the paraded kaleidoscopic animation
of the ocean front.
The city also has Its commercial side, with areas more utilitarian
than ornamental. The ship channel, entering Biscayne Bay, skirts
its southern tip and here are freight docks, warehouses, oil tanks and
wholesale structures. These merge into a hybrid business and amuse
ment sector a mixture of cheap hotels, boarding houses, bars, corn
game layouts, barbecue stands, bathhouses, stores, a pier occupied by
the Minsky show, and an oceanfront dog track. This in turn blends
into the downtown retail district with its chain stores and kosher
markets and restaurants bearing signs to match the prevalent speech
of what is locally designated South Beach.
North of this is a densely built-up territory of hotels and apart
ment houses, and here, extending along Ocean Drive, are Lummus
Park and Miami Beach, two of the city s three public bathing beaches
which swarm with humanity in winter and summer. Opposite sides
of Ocean Drive, for the length of its beaches, offer a study in
contrasts on the one side the typical gleaming white and tropical
green of a smart south Atlantic resort, spick and span hotels, sheer
of outline and exclusive in appearance; on the other, a setting for
trim bathing beauties but noticeably preempted by the pulchritude
of north Atlantic amusement beaches, including a fair representation
of Coney Island curves.
The decisive cross street of the town is Lincoln Road, a dividing
line between north and south Miami Beach. Seasonal branches of
world style-center shops line this broad thoroughfare for approxi
mately ten blocks, and for the convenience of prospective patrons
it has dual sidewalks divided by grassed parkways, one for pedestrians,
the other for window-shoppers.
Beyond Lincoln Road, hotels and waterfront estates, controlling
riparian rights, shut off a view of the ocean and disbar the public
from beach and water, and it is not until the upper end of the city
is reached that free surf bathing is again available. A fishing pier
there, the only one along the entire waterfront, extends approxi
mately 1,000 feet into the ocean.
The territory between the private estates and the public pier
is occupied by acres of modest homes which except for size and cost
resemble the more elaborate places architecturally and in their trop
Three causeways link Miami Beach with Miami. The original
was a wooden bridge, extending from the Collins property, midway
160 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
of the islands, to Fifteenth Street in Miami. Collins, a fruit grower,
and one of the island s early settlers and developers, was instrumental
in getting this first span built in 1913. It has since been replaced
by the Venetian Causeway, a toll bridge, which passed over a chain
of artificially-made islands. The free county causeway to the south,
completed in 1920 and widened several times since, however, carries
the burden of traffic to and from the mainland. This span, tapping
the business district of Miami Beach at Fifth Street, makes a broad
S sweep across the bay, winding up with a loop around the traffic con
trol circle at i3th Street and Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. Near
the Miami Beach end is an anchorage for pleasure craft, and the
winter-time flotilla of ocean-going yachts here makes it easy to believe
that the Committee of One Hundred which directs the ethical affairs
of the city is composed of millionaires.
The third and newest causeway, completed in 1928, connects
the northern sections of the two cities, and serves as a direct route
from the mainland to the public beach and pier near that point on
the island. Northward from Miami Beach a highway paralleling the
ocean continues up the islands nearly to Fort Lauderdale, and numer
ous developments form a more or less continuous resort fringe.
In the early i88o s, Miami Beach, like the rest of Dade County,
was a waste of palmettos and mangroves. A sand ridge, running
along the eastern side, was covered by a tangled mass of sea grapes.
The island was a haven for rattlesnakes, wildcats, coons, possums,
rabbits, and even bears.
Henry B. Lum, who visited this section in the year 1878,
returned to his home in New Jersey and interested a number of men
in a coconut plantation to be developed along the coast of Dade
County. These first developers included Richard Carney, Stillwell
Grover, E. T. Field, and Ezra Osborn, and Lum s brother, Charles.
The group acquired title to 80 miles of ocean frontage lying
between Cape Florida and Jupiter at an average price of 75 cents
an acre. They chartered a schooner, the Ada Doane, under Captain
Ackerly and scoured the Caribbean for seed coconuts. From Cuba,
Nicaragua, Trinidad, and other localities they brought coconuts
until, by 1885, over 300,000 had been planted.
The enthusiasts were warned that in this climate coconuts might
not yield sufficient oil to make their cultivation profitable. Before
they had time to experience any misgivings on that score, however,
they were beset by another difficulty. The plantation was infested
with rabbits which ate the tender shoots of the sprouting coconuts
as fast as they appeared. The planters used every known means to
save their trees but in the end they lost.
STORY OF MIAMI BEACH 161
From 1890 to 1900 the beach was deserted. In 1901 a Miami
dentist, Dr. Gillespie Enloe, built a one-room shack on the Lum
property and used it as a bathing casino. Occasionally he leased it
to other Miamians who wished to spend a week or two at the beach.
A little later Richard M. Smith, a sandy-haired six-footer from
Hartford, Conn., established a public Casino. He induced Charles
H. Garthside, a Miami resident to furnish most of the money. They
leased the land from Lum and built Smith s Pavilion, a two-story
frame structure with a high peaked roof. The pavilion was com
pletely open except for three small rooms on one corner of the second
floor which served as dressing rooms.
Smith and James C. Warr organized the Biscayne Navigation
Company and purchased boats to provide transportation across the
Another man from New Jersey who had invested in the coconut
venture was a horticulturist named John S. Collins. About the year
1907, then in his joth year, Collins purchased from the group 1,600
acres of land, a tract, part of which is now occupied by the city
of Miami Beach.
Collins began experimenting in a small way, clearing, with Negro
labor, a ten-acre tract located between the present Pine Tree Drive
and Indian Creek. He planted avocados, then little known and not
produced on a commercial scale. He later introduced 1 6-ton tractors
to speed up development of his plantation. To provide better and
quicker means of getting his avocados to market, Collins started, in
1909, the canal which now bears his name and runs from what is
now Lake Pancoast to Biscayne Bay.
When his avocado enterprise did not prove a success Collins
turned part of his acreage into residential property. On June 3,
1912, the Miami Beach Improvement Company was organized with
Collins as president and his son-in-law, Thomas J. Pancoast, as
secretary, treasurer, and active manager.
Two days later, another development company, the Ocean Beach
Realty Company, was also chartered. John Newton Lummus and
John C. Gramling, associates in this new enterprise, began develop
ing the Lum Property which at that time comprised all of what was
then known as Ocean Beach, now known as "South Beach." The
company recorded its plat as "From $th to Biscayne and from Miami
Avenue (now Washington) to Ocean Drive." No lots were sold
until March, 1913.
One month after Collins and Pancoast received their charter
they began the construction of a bridge across the bay to the center
162 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
of their holdings. Plans called for a i3,ooo-foot structure and work
on it started July 22, 1912. Before it was finished Collins succeeded
in interesting Carl G. Fisher in the venture.
Fisher loaned Collins $50,000 but this was insufficient to com
plete the structure. The developers ran half-page advertisements
offering ocean front lots at $350 and up, saying, "The bridge was
to have been completed at this time, but there have been unavoidable
delays However, the completion is all arranged for and will be
finished as rapidly as lumber can be furnished."
Those on the inside, however, knew that lumber was not the
only thing that was lacking. The difficulty was again a financial
one. Collins decided to hold an auction and, for this purpose, en
gaged Edward E. ("Doc") Dammers.
For many years Dammers had auctioned Florida land from the
tailboard of a wagon and had the reputation of being able to sell
"ice skates to a South Sea Islander." All the selling skill that
Dammers possessed was certainly needed on this commission for, in
selling many of Collins lots, he had to point vaguely toward the
mangrove swamps and say, "This lot is off in there somewhere."
The first lot, site of the Breakers Hotel, was sold to S. A.
Belcher, for $3,700. Toward the last of the sale, ocean front lots
were selling as low as $700 and Collins finally stopped the auction.
But the sale had been a success. Sixty-five thousand dollars were
realized from the auction and of this amount $33,000 was in cash.
The completion of the bridge was assured and almost 100 more
people were now property owners on the Beach.
Each day of the sale the auctioneer had offered a 6oo-foot ocean
front lot without cost to anyone who would build on it a $200,000
hotel The terms of the offer created considerable amusement at
the time but no one accepted the offer. The tract, which went
begging, is now occupied by the Roney-Plaza Hotel, a $2,800,000
Following the auction, work on the bridge progressed swiftly.
It was completed in May, 1913 and was formally opened on June 12.
Tolls were ijc for cars and carriages, and $c for extra passengers,
for bicycles or pedestrians.
Less than two years after the bridge was opened another city
was erected. In the early part of 1915 a small group of citizens
met in the back room of an apartment house at South Beach. A
few weeks later, March 26th, a charter was granted and the City
of Miami Beach, incorporated, began doing business. At that time
there were approximately 300 people in the city but only 33 of these
were registered voters.
STORY OF MIAMI BEACH 163
Fisher received as a bonus for his loan to Collins 200 acres of
land south of Nineteenth Street extending from the bay to the ocean,
and began developing his property. He employed an army of men,
three pumping boats, two dredges, fifteen barges, two oil tugs and
placed an 1 8-inch pipe-line over a mile long to fill in his sandpit
holdings. He drew so heavily on his northern bankers that one of
them, James A. Allison, came down to investigate and stayed to
invest $500,000. It was Allison who built what is now St. Francis
Not satisfied with his holdings, Fisher bought 200 acres more
in the Lum tract and another 60 acres along the bay. With John
H. Levi in charge of engineering, doing the bulkheading and filling,
Fisher combined with Collins in the Miami Beach Bayshore Company,
investing in land lying north of Dade Boulevard and west of Indian
Creek. They purchased land owned by the Flagler interests until
they controlled Miami Beach as far north as 69th Street.
Fisher built the Flamingo Hotel in 1920 and the same year
began to realize on his enormous investments as real estate prices
sharply advanced. With the boom came an influx of new investors
and the new scale of prices for real estate made the original developers
of Miami Beach rich men.
Among those who came into prominence were John Levi who
built Star Island and N. B. T. Roney who, in 1925, owned buildings
including 200 shop units from Third Street to Twenty-third Street
all within two blocks of the ocean.
The collapse of the boom was followed in 1926 by a disastrous
hurricane, but in 1928, more than $3,000,000 was spent in private
building construction and this figure was increased to $7,856,000
the following year. Between 1935 and 1939 building permits totaled
$39,672,356 and real estate transfers amounted to $64,842,970.
Miami Beach builds more expensive homes than any city of like
population in the United States. Figures drawn from building per
mits covering a six month period show that 121 residences had an
average cost of $19,100. In some sections of the city no house
costing less than $27,000 may be built.
Points of Interest in Miami Beach
MIAMI BEACH LUMMUS PARK, Ocean Dr. between 6th St.
and 1 4th Lane, is not to be confused with Lummus Park
Tourist Center at Miami (see City Tour 2). This stretch of
the celebrated Miami Beach is one of the few open to the public, and
the park extends to the coconut palm shaded beach where thousands
enjoy the breakers and vivid blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This
is a favorite spot for surf bathing, sun-bathing, the display of color
ful beach clothing, tanned torsos, umbrellas and windbreakers, and
for picnicking on the grounds among the palms.
COLLINS PARK. Collins Ave. and 2ist St., contains tropical
gardens and a bird sanctuary. Among plants here are East Indian
bendy or tulip tree, with tulip-like blossoms; cocos plumosa, a
feathery palm tree; and pandanus trees, called screw pine and resemb
ling pineapple plants.
MIAMI BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY (open 10-9 weekdays) is
a stone building in the park nearly concealed by trees and shrubbery.
At the ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY (open 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Mon.) in the east section of the park, lectures are given by astron
omers. At the time of observation a telescope is mounted on a small
platform approached by green steps.
LAKE PANCOAST is a small, palm-bordered lagoon formed at
Collins Ave. by the juncture of the Collins Canal and Indian Creek.
Paddle-wheel boats for rent are operated by bicycle pedals.
The JOHN S. COLLINS HOME, Collins Ave. and i6th St.
(R) now housing a stock broker s office is a two-story white stucco
house with a red tile roof, facing the ocean. Here lived the pioneer
fruit grower and founder of Miami Beach who dug the Collins Canal
to move fruit to the market.
The HARVEY S. FIRESTONE ESTATE, Collins Ave. and 44th
St. (R) is at the point where Collins Ave. jogs (L) from the Ocean
one block. The main entrance to the estate, on the 44th St. side, is
bounded by a low bougainvillea-covered wall, above which rises a high
clipped Australian pine hedge. Back of this is a galvanized cyclone
fence topped with barbed wire.
Fronting Collins Ave., about halfway up the W. side of the
estate, is a vine-draped pergola incorporated into boundary walls and
hedges. The lower half is fenced in but the upper oval has been left
open and affords a view of smooth lawn, bordered by banked shrub-
POINTS OF INTEREST 165
bery and extending eastward to a vine-covered, many-chimneyed
Georgian Colonial mansion with a glazed tile roof. This estate is open
each spring for a charity garden tea.
North of the Firestone estate, Collins Ave. winds between Indian
Creek and estates fronting the ocean; red-roofed houses can be seen
across the creek.
ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL, 6 3 rd St. (L) is a large, plain stucco
building with buff trim and an illuminated cross on a tower, situated
on Allison Island in the center of Indian Creek. Constructed in 1925,
it cost more than $1,000,000. It is operated under supervision of
sisters of the Order of Saint Francis; on the six-acre grounds are ihe
hospital, Villa Francisco, nurses home, swimming pool, tennis courts,
laundry and private dock. Villa Francisco accommodates rest
Pine Tree Drive receives its name from the double row of tall
Australian pines between 3Oth and 46th Sts., through which it passes.
These trees were set out about 1912 by John Collins as a windbreak
for his avocado groves. Estates on the drive are owned by persons
eminent industrially and socially.
The MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE, Sheridan Ave., lies on both
sides of Collins Canal. Eight holes are played on one side, after which
golfers cross bridge No. 1 1 and the boulevard for the remaining ten
holes. Along the banks of Collins Canal, red-leaved shrubs are planted
and trimmed to form the words: "Municipal Golf Course, Visitors
The MIAMI BEACH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 524
Lincoln Rd., is of the Mission type architecture in the edge of an ex
clusive shopping district.
The Lincoln Road Shopping and Theatre District has double side
walks, bordered with royal and coconut palms and divided by a park
way. The inner walks are for window shopping. Glass and chro
mium store fronts carry the names of New York and Paris establish
North Alton Road runs through a section of modest homes, some
with light grey roofs to reflect the heat. Glass panels set in many
roofs contain coils of black-painted pipe to provide hot water for
household purposes through use of solar heat.
The upper reaches of the BAY SHORE GOLF COURSE (R)
stretch N. between Meridian Ave. on the E. and Alton Rd. on the W.
and are across the road from the northern section of the Municipal
The Sunset Islands, foot of W. 29th St., are a group of four
islands developed into a restricted residential section. Construction
began in 1935; many homes have been built costing more than
166 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
$100,000. Since about 1930 the islands have been lavishly land
scaped so that new homes would have matured growth around them.
The islands are entered from Bay Rd. on 29th St. with connecting
bridges. Royal and date palms border the streets, hibiscus bushes dot
wide green parkways. A windbreak of tall Australian pine borders the
shore of each island.
ST. PATRICK S CATHOLIC CHURCH (R) fronts on Garden
Ave. which parallels N. Alton Rd. The building is of buff stucco with
an octagonal tower topped by a red tile roof. There is a medallion
stained glass window over the Gothic arched entrance.
The EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF AN INDIAN (L) near the
Nautilus Hotel is made from oolitic limestone. The stone was
quarried in Miami, crushed, and cast like concrete. This is one of the
few statues in Miami.
Many large estates shut off the view of the shore along N. Bay
Rd. Crimson bougainvillea and a profusion of tropical shrubbery
stand out against white stucco walls. Houses of antique brick, un
usual in south Florida, are in this area and many of the newer homes
are marked by roofs of fabricated white shingles to reflect the heat.
The Miami skyline is glimpsed across Biscayne Bay.
SURFSIDE PARK (R), Collins Ave., at /ist St., a popular bath
ing and picnicking area paralleling Collins Ave. and the shore for
about six blocks, affords the first striking view of the ocean since
Lummus Park. The straight line of white breakers on the curved
beach presents an exhilarating picture. Palmetto-thatched sun
shelters and stone block stoves, black with many picnic fires, are along
BAKER S HAULOVERS is a channel where Biscayne Bay meets
the ocean. An arched bridge extends across the channel. Before the
railroad was built into Miami, the postman walked the beach from
Lake Worth to be met here and brought by boat to Miami. The sand
bar between the ocean and the bay also served as a convenient place
to haul the boats over, thereby saving a long trip around the southern
end of Miami Beach into the bay. A man named Baker assisted in the
work, hence the name Baker s Haulover. A stone jetty, popular with
fishermen, extends into the ocean.
On this road is the SUNNY ISLES CLUB, a two-story white
stucco building with a red tile roof, fronting on the ocean. Con
structed during the boom-time development of Sunny Isles, it is open
as an eating and dancing place with refreshment stands, lockers and
facilities for bathing. Extending eastward from it into the ocean is
the Miami Beach Fishing Pier (adm. i$r for walking, 40*7 for fishing)
1,000 feet long.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
FLAGLER MONUMENT, Bay Island, between the County Cause
way and the Venetian Causeway, is an illuminated square white
shaft, erected in memory of Henry M. Flagler by Carl Fisher,
Miami Beach pioneer. At the four corners of the base are symbolic
figures representing Pioneering, Engineering, Industrialism and Pros
perity. The monument is accessible only by boat.
AL CAPONE S HOUSE (private) is on the north side of Palm
Island facing Biscayne Bay. The white mansion with a green tile-roof
is barely visible over a high white stone wall.
CORAL GABLES GENERAL
RAILROAD STATIONS: Available in Miami.
AIRPORTS: Available in Miami.
Bus LINES: (Interstate) Florida Motor Lines, Greyhound Lines and
Tamiami Trailways, terminal 2202 Ponce de Leon Boulevard. (Local)
Coral Gables Bus Co., terminal 205 Coral Way; local fare 5C, to
TAXIS: Prevailing rates: I5C first % m., jc each additional % m.
TRAFFIC REGULATIONS: No commercial parking lots.
STREET ORDER AND NUMBERING: Spanish street names are predomi
nant and are arranged with deliberate irregularity to create a park-
like beauty. Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Coral Way are the prin
cipal business streets. House numbering begins at Flagler Street and
Douglas Road. Each street sign board carries the key number for
PRECAUTIONS FOR MOTORISTS: All traffic signs should be carefully ob
served because the irregular plotting of streets and abundance of
shrubbery create dangerous intersections.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Many hotels and apartments are open only from
December to May. Rooms, apartments and homes are available by
the season. All are listed with the Chamber of Commerce or the
Coral Gables Realty Board. Tourist and trailer camps conveniently
located, north city limits.
HOSPITAL: University Hospital, 3151 Coconut Grove Drive.
COLLEGE: University of Miami, 515 University Drive is a co-educa
tional school, specializing in Pan-American culture and tropical
botany and zoology. Its band and symphony orchestra are outstand
ing in the country.
LIBRARY: 1009 Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
CLIMATE AND APPAREL: An average yearly temperature of 70 degrees
makes summer apparel and light wraps adequate.
CORAL G A BLES^G EN ER AL INFORMATION 169
INFORMATION SERVICE: Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Aragon
AMUSEMENTS AND RECREATION: One motion picture theatre. Swim
ming pools: Venetian Pool, De Soto Boulevard (municipally owned);
admission to swimmers: winter 5oc; summer 25C, children ijc. Locker
accommodations and bathing suits for rent. Miami-Biltmore Pool,
for hotel guests only.
BEACHES: Tahiti Beach, about 2.5 m. W. on Coral Way to Le Jeune
Road, L. on Le Jeune Rd. to Cocoplum Plaza, follow sign to Beach.
Admission, adults 25C, children I5C. No extra charge for bath houses.
Swimming instructions and cabanas available.
SALVADORE PARK: Columbus Blvd. and Andalusia Ave. maintains
tennis courts, shuffleboard, horseshoe, roque, croquet, and other adult
and juvenile recreational facilities. Nominal fees for horseshoe,
shuffleboard, tennis; few tennis courts free.
TENNIS: 997 Greenway Dr.; Salvadore Park at Columbus Blvd. and
Andalusia Ave. Reasonable fees.
GOLF: Coral Gables Golf and Country Club, 9 holes, daily greens
fee $i winter, 5oc summer, caddie fee $i; Riviera Golf Course, Bird
Rd. S. of the Miami-Biltmore Hotel, 9 holes, daily greens fee 5oc;
caddie fee 5oc. Miami-Biltmore Country Club, Anastasia Ave.,
(membership) 18 holes, greens fee $3 winter, caddie fee $i, $2 sum
OTHER RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Tropical Park Race Track from
Nov. through Dec. and month of Mar. (General adm. $i). S. from
Coral Way on Le Jeune Rd. to Bird Rd. R. on Bird Rd. to the track
approx. 1.5 m. Coral Gables Riding Academy, 303 Giralda Ave.,
rate $2 ist hr., $i each additional hr. Special rates by request.
CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS
(Dates to be announced)
Latin American Institute, (an open forum for the discussion of Pan
American affairs). University of Miami.
Left Handers Golf Championship, Miami-Biltmore Golf Course.
Men s Amateur Golf Championship, Miami-Biltmore Golf Course.
Mixed Foursome Medal Golf Championship, Miami-Biltmore Golf
Winter Institute of Literature, University of Miami. Season ticket
for 18 lectures, $9; single admission 75c.
Helen Lee Doherty Milk Fund Charity Ball, Miami-Biltmore Hotel.
Florida Year Round Club Men s Golf Championship, Miami-Biltmore
Florida Year Round Club Women s Golf Championship, Miami-Bilt
more Golf Course
Mixed Doubles Tennis Championship, Miami-Biltmore Hotel.
University of Miami Commencement, Coral Gables Country Club.
Concerts by the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra and
Symphony Band, with guest artists at various times throughout
winter. Concerts usually held at 2400 W. Flagler St., Miami.
Thanksgiving Day Annual Golf Tournament, Miami-Biltmore Golf
Miami-Biltmore $10,000 open Golf Tournament, Miami-Biltmore Golf
THE STORY OF CORAL GABLES
CORAL GABLES suggests grandeur but makes a point of unob-
trusiveness. Its atmosphere is restful and life conforms to that
pattern, in spite of imposing buildings, business streets of amaz
ing widths, and a hotel tower that serves as a landmark for miles
Douglas Entrance, an elaborate portal consisting of a block-long
building pierced by an arched opening, was once the main gateway to
Coral Gables from the Tamiami Trail, but Coral Way, 14 blocks
south of the Trail has since become the front approach from the city
of Miami. Ponce de Leon Boulevard, paved 120 feet wide for a dis
tance of five miles, is the main north and south traffic and business
artery and bisects Coral Way which is equally wide. The Miami-
Biltmore tower more or less symbolizes the pretentiousness that seemed
necessary to Florida developments in the i9io s. It is the first in
dication to a motorist approaching from the Tamiami Trail that the
solitude of the Everglades is suddenly to be replaced by a surprisingly
new city, but ingeniously mellowed to give the semblance of antiquity.
Coral Gables is not a resort, but a pre-designed community of
comfortable homes set in park-like surroundings with winding drives,
abundant foliage and shaded greenswards. Curbs along streets are
few except in the business area, and street intersections frequently
provide an excuse for installing ornamental plazas, circles, parkways
with stone benches, fountains, and decorative columns. In design
jnd treatment these embellishments are notable for restraint.
Beginning at 3/th Avenue, Coral Gables extends for 20 blocks
westward along the south side of the Tamiami Trail where have been
constructed gateways of Spanish and Italian design. Southward from
the Trail the city reaches five miles to Biscayne Bay, where a stretch
of bog land has been dredged in to form Tahiti Beach, the only main
land bathing beach in the Miami area.
The greater part of Coral Gables has been improved with paved
streets, sidewalks, and ornamental planting. Boomdays construction
has been kept in good repair and the landscaping carefully preserved.
To the thousands or more homes built in the 1920*5, hundreds more
have been added in keeping with the general plan of the city. Orig
inal restrictions remain in effect and are rigidly enforced.
All essential details were predetermined when Coral Gables was
designed, even to types of architecture permissible in certain zones
172 MIAMI AND BADE COUNTY
and all construction, including color schemes, is still passed on by
city officials. While many of the homes are of the so-called "modi
fied Mediterranean" type, zoning prescribes French and Dutch
Colonial for certain sections, West Indian and African for others, and
Chinese adaptations for still another. But harmony has been main
tained by seeking subdued beauty rather than display.
The creation of this sylvan atmosphere was accompanied by one
of the most vigorous and spectacular real estate promotions on record,
a Nation-wide campaign that made Coral Gables a classic boomtime
development. Lavish, ornamental offices, carrying out the motif of
the development itself were installed in every important northern
city east of the Rockies, and a fleet of busses cruised the highways of
the Nation, bringing prospects. Full-color page advertisements ap
peared in national magazines, and the finest talent in the country, in
cluding concert and operatic stars and "name bands," was imported
to entertain investors. William Jennings Bryan divided his time be
tween conducting the world s largest outdoor Men s Bible Class in a
Miami park, and lecturing for Coral Gables from a platform over
the water of the Venetian Pool.
The name Coral Gables became almost as well known as Florida
itself, yet this "$100,000,000 development" as it was called, was
hewed from a plantation at Miami s back door by a native son and
dreamer who foretold his love of beauty in a book of verse, Songs of
the Wind on a Southern Shore.
George E. Merrick had inherited the plantation from his father,
the Reverend Solomon G. Merrick in 1912 when only a woods road
led to the property. Four years later Merrick subdivided a part of the
home place and offered lots for sale, but with Europe at war there was
little interest in real estate. Merrick finally engaged an auctioneer.
Since Miami bankers decided that the Merrick property was too
far inland from the city and declined financial aid, Merrick offered
free lunches and a bus ride to round up buyers. As he afterward re
lated he hurried his prospects through the unsightly stretch en route.
Auctions were held daily and Merrick began to buy up more land to
add to the original 1,100 acres in the plantation. Original plans called
for construction of houses only of coral rock, and Merrick imported
from Cuba a crew of Spanish masons familiar with this material to
build the first group of houses. However, as sales increased and the
building tempo increased, restrictions against other materials were
relaxed in the interest of speed. To meet the type of competition that
developed with the boom, Merrick was compelled to organize a vast
He continued to buy more land until he had pushed through to
THE STORY OF CORAL GABLES 173
the shore of Biscayne Bay to overcome the disadvantage of Coral
Gables not being a waterfront development. One i4O-acre tract in
the middle of his holdings finally cost him $1,800,000.
From the princely Miami-Biltmore hotel to Tahiti Beach a canal
was blasted through the coral rock which underlay the property, and
over this waterway glided colorful gondolas manned by costumed
gondoliers who crooned the love songs of Italy while rowing hotel
guests to and from the beach. It was just as pictured in the maga
zines languorous nights, scented breezes, sweet music, gaiety, color
the spell of the tropics. Merrick imported the gondoliers from Italy.
Later the canal was widened, deepened, and converted into a practical
waterway for sizeable yachts, allowing Coral Gable residents to moor
craft almost in their own yards.
The development of Coral Gables utilized as far as possible mate
rials at hand. Coral and the limestone from the near-by Florida Keys
was extensively used in building, lending itself admirably to rapid mel
lowing. Plantings were more native than exotic, and every effort
was made to efface the appearance of newness in landscaping and build
ing. Stucco walls were stained to give a weather effect and patches
of brick were set in and left unplastered to create the illusion of walls
scaling from age.
The original plantation home, built of coral rock in 1906, stands
in the midst of hundreds of these newer structures, but with its bright
red tile roof it looks to be the newest of all. At a street intersection
near the old home survives a strangler fig tree which grips a fence post
that helps enclose a fruit-packing plant on the premises. At one time
much of the plantation was planted in citrus fruit and the annual
crop ran as high as 1 20,000 boxes. Many of the original trees are
still alive and bearing on the lawns of expensive homes.
And so, George Merrick, by retaining much of the old, trans
lated into reality the lines of one of his poems:
By pitted walls of ancient rose
Poinsettias glow the night-noon shows.
And purple petals sifting fall
Upon the faded crumbling wall.
As if, with vivid youthful glows
To still enliven time-worn rose !
Merrick employed the best city designers, architects, and land
scape artists available to work out together his plans, and not until
this was completed was his marketing campaign launched. The first
lot was sold November 27, 1921. The first street was opened and the
first store building erected the following year. From then on work
and sales progressed with such amazing speed that by 1925 the tract
which had been increased to 10,000 acres was incorporated into a city,
174 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
and municipal bonds floated to install utilities and carry on improve
ments. City mail service was inaugurated in 1926, and the same year
the Miami streetcar line was extended to the new city. Elementary
schools, a hospital, and a university were established. In five years
"he place had become a self-contained community much as it is today
except that time has since given it a genuine touch of age.
The collapse of the real estate boom left Coral Gables with a
bonded debt of $8,000,000 and by 1930 defaults had exceeded $500,-
ooo. Tax delinquencies reached such a point that in order to refinance
its debts the city was forced to foreclose on thousands of building lots
for the benefit of creditors. All bonds were eventually refunded with
new issues bearing reduced interest rates and extended maturities.
Ownership of property and control of the city passed into other
hands, but Merrick, who became postmaster of Miami in 1940, was
to have the satisfaction of seeing his original plans mature. So firmly
had he established the roots of Coral Gables that when building ac
tivities resumed the high standards that he had imposed were never
Points of Interest in Coral Gables
E UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, 515 University Dr., functions
in several dormitories and in two boom-time hotels of buff
stucco with red tile roofs, located about one block apart. Three
long wings of the main building form a triangle around a landscaped
patio. An observatory dome rises from the southeast corner. In
1939 the University bought the 4oo-room San Sebastian Hotel, con
verting it into class rooms, offices and apartments. Born of the boom,
the school plays an important part in Pan-American affairs and in the
cultural life of the community. A resident faculty of 75 is aug
mented during the year by visiting professors. Its location gives the
university an advantage in certain tropical aspects of scientific
The university emphasizes Pan-American relations and considers
the development of its Latin-American division one of the major fea
tures of its program. (See Education).
The school of music has developed the University of Miami Sym
phonic Orchestra and the University of Miami Symphonic Band.
Students in Marine Zoology make weekly trips to Biscayne Bay
and nearby waters where, wearing diving hoods, they study marine
LOST LAKE AND CAVERNS (open 2-6 daily: adm. 4 or),
Bird Road, are built around an abandoned rock pit. A wild duck
show, given five times daily on the hour, features "trained" mallards.
Ducks attracted from the Everglades include the hell-diver, a small
black duck with a white bill that gives it a parrot-like appearance.
"Feeding the fishes" is a favorite sport here. Visible beneath a glass-
bottom boat are varieties of fish that gobble oatmeal released from a
hopper by the vibration of the motor. The bottom of the artificial
lake is planted with fish grasses. A guide directs tourists through the
arboretum. Plants from Java, South Africa, India, Australia, China,
and South and Central America were imported through co-operation
of the British and Dutch Governments and the republics of South
America. Included among these are bo trees, sycamore fig, mango-
steen, teakwood banyan, rubber tree, fishtail palm, bauhinia tree,
fountain tree, litchi, African oil palm, sealing wax palm, and cajeput;
cactus, fish poison, and bauhinia vines.
There are Alpine rock gardens, and a number of caverns have
been excavated in the sides of a natural sinkhole. Known as Fort
176 MIAMI AND D A D E COUNTY
Lonesome, the sinkhole gave its name to the surrounding area and
was supposed to have been the hiding place of soldiers during the
Seminole War. In the caves are a museum and a small aquarium
with several species of gar pike native to the Everglades. It is one
of the few surviving prehistoric vertebrates.
TROPICAL PARK RACE TRACK (open daily free except in
racing season when adm. is $i for grandstand, $3 for clubhouse), Bird
Road, was originally a dog track. In 1932 the grandstand, seating
3,500, then facing west, was reversed and the surrounding area land
scaped at a cost of $70,000. A clipped Australian pine hedge screens
the track and the parking lot is planted with red bougainvillea. Tall
Washingtonia palms shade the ground and the clubhouse entrance is
landscaped with clipped Australian pine, royal palms, and scarlet
salvia or Mexican sage. Races are held in December and March.
The CORAL GABLES CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, An-
astasia Ave. and De Soto Blvd., is an exact replica of a church in
Mexico City. A square bell-tower, heavily ornamented with cast
stone, rises above the buff stucco walls and the red tile roof.
CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE LITTLE FLOWER, Palermo
Avenue and Anastasia Ave. is a buff stucco building with a red tile
roof and a balcony between its two low towers. The church stands in
memory of Saint Teresa, a patron of the blind.
SAL V ADORE PARK fronting on Valencia Ave. from Columbus
to Cordova Ave. has clay and asphalt tennis courts, shuffleboard
courts, horseshoe rinks, bowling greens, area for quoits and croquet, a
children s playground and picnicking facilities. Instructors in tennis
and other games are on duty.
The VENETIAN POOL, De Soto Blvd. and Sevilla Ave. (open
year round, 8-6; adm.: summer, adults 2$c,, children i$c; winter,
adults, 5 or, children, 25 c; locker, towel and suit extra), municipally
owned and operated, is a recreational development in an abandoned
rock pit, landscaped with palms, flowers, and shrubbery. There is an
artificial sand beach, and cast-concrete caverns and bridges resembling
natural stone. Lamps similar to those in Venice are mounted on
CORAL GABLES CITY HALL at the intersection of Coral
Way, Biltmore Way and Le Jeune Rd., built of Key Largo limestone
in 1928, has a curved columned portico, and a square clock tower.
Atop the semicircular front is a bas-relief group carved in stone.
The CORAL GABLES LIBRARY AND COMMUNITY
HOUSE, E. Ponce de Leon Blvd. at Phoenetia Ave. (open 1-9 Mon.-
Thurs.; 9-6 Tues., Wed., Fri.,, Sat.), constructed by W.P.A. labor in
POINTS OF INTEREST 111
1937, is built of Key Largo limestone and consists of two one-story
buildings with red tile roofs set at right angles and connected by an
arcade patio. At the entrance are pylons, carved in bas-relief with
symbolic representations of art and science. The pilasters surround
ing both buildings are capped with bas-relief carvings of native fishes,
birds and animals. The fountain on the northeast side of the library
has four bas-relief nudes representing four moods of the sea. The base
of the fountain has bas-reliefs picturing sea fishes and fowl. Designs
and decorations were the work of the W.P.A. Florida Art Project.
CORAL GABLES ART CENTER, 300 Avenue Alcazar (open
9-4 weekdays), is a WPA Art Project community exhibition point
and creative unit in the fields of ceramics, sculpture, and Index of
The DOUGLAS ARCHWAY, sometimes called the Ponce de
Leon entrance to Coral Gables, stands at the point where E. Ponce de
Leon Blvd. and Douglas Rd. join the Tamiami Trail. This mottled
buff stucco arch is in the center of a building of medieval-type archi
tecture. In both wings of the archway are apartments and studios.
1545 Escalante de Fontaneda, the first white man of record to traverse
Bade County, is wrecked on the Florida Keys.
1566 Whites first settle in Dade County, and Governor Pedro Menendez
de Aviles establishes the Jesuit Mission of Tequesta.
1699 The Barkentine Reformation is wrecked on the lower coast of
Florida. The adventures of the survivors supplied the basis for the
1743 San Ignacio Mission established.
1796 The first land grant issued in Dade County to Frankie Lewis by
the King of Spain.
1808 Land grant issued to James Eagen (Hagen) near mouth of Miami
1826 The first Cape Florida lighthouse built at a cost of $15,457.
1830 Fort Dallas established by the United States Government.
1835 First Post Office in Dade County establishel on Indian Key.
1836 Dade County officially created by an Act of Legislature; Cape
Florida lighthouse burned by Indians.
1839 Dr. Henry Perrine reaches Florida Keys and locates a preparatory
nursery, December 25.
1840 Dr. Perrine massacred by Indians.
1842 Majority of Seminole sent West; remainder retreat to Everglades.
1845 Florida enters Union.
1850 All English plantations at Miami abandoned.
1870 Mail service established between Fort Dallas and Key West;
William Brickell settles in Miami; a settlement, said to be the
oldest on Biscayne Bay, made at Coconut Grove. First store opens
1873 First Post Office established in Coconut Grove.
1880 Census shows 100 people in Dade County.
1882 Three New Jersey men plant coconuts on Miami Beach.
1884 First hotel in Dade County opens: Peacock Inn, Coconut Grove.
1887 First Circuit Court in Dade County convenes in the barracks of
Fort Dallas; Biscayne Bay Yacht Club organized, Coconut Grove.
1888 County seat moves from Miami to Juno.
1891 Mrs. Julia D. Tuttle settles in Miami; U. S. Plant Introduction
Bureau established on Brickell Hammock; Housekeeper s Club of
Coconut Grove founded.
1895 Henry M. Flagler first visits Miami; first subdivision, Riverside,
platted by Tatum Brothers.
1896 April, the first passenger train enters Miami on the Florida East
Coast Railway extension from West Palm Beach: Mav. the first
newspaper issued in Miami, The Miami Metropolis, now the Miami
Daily News; July, Miami incorporated as a city by 343 voters
with an approximate population of 1,500; October, first street
graded in Miami. The first bank established in Dade County, the
Bank of Bay Biscayne; Miami swept by a hurricane; Royal Palm
Hotel built ; Miami swept by fire.
i 896-8 Churches organized: Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Catholic,
Episcopalian, First Methodist, Baptist, Methodist Episcopal.
1897 First county fair in Florida held in Miami; first tourists arrive in
1898 Military camp for the Spanish-American War established in Miami.
1899 Dade County seat moved permanently from Juno to Miami; fire
1900 First golf course opens in Miami ; first wagon road built through
to Coconut Grove; Flagler Public Library founded; first Woman s
Club (later named the Woman s Club of Miami) organized; the
first civic organization in Miami formed, Miami Board of Trade.
j 903 Miami Evening Record published; changed to Miami Herald in 1910.
1904 New Year s race between launches and dories ; General John B.
Gordon, youngest lieutenant-general of the Confederate Army, dies;
Miami Choral Society gives first concert ; Smith s Casino, the first
bathing pavilion, is built on Miami Beach.
1905 Miami becomes a full-fledged port with the completion of Govern
1906 Streetcar system inaugurated, July 4.
1907 First fire station constructed.
1909 Carrie Nation visits Miami; construction of City Hall; first theater
1910 Census shows 111,935 people in Dade County; first hospital opens.
1911 July: First airplane flight in Miami, pilot Howard Gill.
1912 The Florida East Coast Railway extended to Key West; Glenn H.
Curtiss establishes an airport northwest of Miami, third in the
United, States ; first real estate office opened in Miami Beach.
1913 A two-mile wooden bridge completed between Miami and Miami
Beach, June 12.
1915 First municipal advertising campaign, $1,900 being raised for pub
licity ; incorporation of Miami Beach ; ship channel from Govern
ment Cut through the Bay.
1916 Glenn H. Curtiss establishes aviation school; Arthur Pryor s band
brought to Miami for daily concerts.
1917 Flagler Street bridge placed in operation (replacing wooden bridge) ;
Dinner Key United States Naval Aviation Base established.
1919 Coconut Grove incorporated.
1920 County Causeway opened.
1921 Commission-manager form of government adopted in Miami; first
building lots sold in Coral Gables; first broadcasting station opened
in Miami, WFAW, now WQAM ; First plat of Hialeah made and
the town named.
1923 U. S. Plant Introduction Bureau moved to Chapman Field from
Brickell Hammock; Miami Banker s Clearing House begins activ
ities. Clearings for the first month Jan. amounted to more than
$1,000,000; steamship passenger service inaugurated between New
York and Miami ; start of the Miami boom ; Bayfront Park de
veloped from a mud-flat and Biscayne Bay.
1925 Streetcar service started between Miami and Coral Gables; Vene
tian Causeway constructed ; Tahiti Beach opened ; Coral Gables
incorporated; Coconut Grove annexed to Miami.
1926 Hurricane 130-mile-an-hour wind, strikes Miami, Sept. 18; WMBF
broadcasting station opened, now WIOD ; University of Miami
opens; Miami boundaries enlarged to take in 46 additional square
miles of territory ; Venetian Islands built in Biscayne Bay.
1927 Seaboard Airline Railway reaches Miami ; Coral Gables Public
Library established; Greater Miami Airport Association formed.
1928 City Hall of Coral Gables opened; Miami s first air line established;
Pitcairn Aviation extended service from New York and Atlanta ;
name of the corporation was later changed to Eastern Air Transport,
Inc., and in 1934 to Eastern Air Lines; Pan-American Airways serv
ice from Miami to Havana inaugurated; National Shriner s Conven
tion : First nonstop airplane flight from New York to Miami, Jan.
4 ; Tamiami Trail opened ; Present court house dedicated ; First All-
American Air Meet.
1929 Interocean mail and passenger line opened by Pan-American Air
1930 Naval Reserve Base and mooring mast established at Opa Locka;
First annual International Flower Show held.
1931 Two horse racetracks opened Hialeah Jockey Club and Tropical
Park ; John Tiger, one of the chief counselors of the Florida tribes,
dies; Chapman Field, which served as a base during the World
1933 First air-conditioned train comes into Miami; President-elect Roose
velt speaks in Bayfront Park and attempted assassination resulting
in Mayor Cermack s death.
1934 New Federal Building dedicated; Pan-American air passenger, mail
and terminal building opened : American Legion National Convention
in Miami ; Miami Beach Tribune published.
1935 Miami swept by hurricane.
1936 Dade County Centennial Celebration.
1937 Knight Templars National Convention; WKAT broadcasting sta
tion opened at Miami Beach; Roddey Burdine Stadium opens.
Halcyon Hotel razed ; Matecumbe Memorial Monument unveiled.
1938 Overseas highway opens to Key West; first Seminole Pageant;
Fleischer movie studios open; New Post Office building dedicated
at Miami Beach; Johnnie Billy shot by Chief John Osceola.
1939 First recall election of City Commission ; first tropical festival ;
Diesel powered electric train service inaugurated between Miami
and New York.
1940 Busses replace streetcars; 40 hotels built in Miami Beach.
Arrendondo, Antonio de
Historical Proof of Spain s Title to Georgia . . . ed. by Herbert E. Bolton.
University of California, 1925. 400p. illus.
Bailey, Harold Harris
Birds of Florida. Baltimore, Md. Williams and Wilkins Co. 1925. p. 146
Baker, Mrs. Mary Evans (Francis)
Florida Wild Flowers. N. Y. Macmillan Co. 1926.
Barbour, George M.
Florida for Tourists, Invalids and Settlers . . . N. Y. Appleton, 1883. 310p.
Barbour, Ralph Henry
Let s Go to Florida. N. Y. Dodd, Mead and Co. 1926. 288 p. illus.
Beach, Rex Ellingwood
Miracle of Coral Gables; illus. by Edward A. Wilson. N. Y. Courier and
Hartford, 1926. 63 p.
Blackman, Ethan V.
Miami and Dade County. Washington, D. C. V. Rainbolt, 1921. 255 p.
Bolton, Herbert Eugene
Spanish Borderlands. Yale University Press, 1921. 320 p.
Bradlee, Francis B. C.
Piracy in the West Indies and Its Suppression. Salem, Mass. Essex In
Brevard, Caroline Mays
History of Florida from the Treaty of 1763 to Our Own Times, ed. by
James Alexander Robertson. DeLand, Fla. State Hist. Soc. 1924. 2 v.
Caine, L. S.
Game Fish of the South and How to Catch Them. N. Y. Houghton
Mifflin, 1935. 259 p. illus.
Chamberlain, John Newton
Miami, Jewel of the South; 1921. 32 p. Privately printed.
Coe, Charles H.
Red Patriots. Cincinnati, Editor Pub. Co. 1898.
Historical Sketches and Sidelights of Miami. Cambridge, Mass. Uni
versity Press, 1925.
Connor, Jeannette Thurber, tr.
Colonial Records of Spanish Florida. DeLand, Fla. 2 v.
Connor, Jeannette Thurber, tr.
Pedro Mencndcs de Aviles. DeLand, Fla. Hist. Soc. 1923.
Corse, Carita (Doggett)
Supplementary History of Florida. N. Y. Scribner, 1931. 91 p.
Cory, Charles Barney
Hunting and Fishing in Florida. Boston, Estes Lauriat, 1896. 304 p.
Cory, Charles Barney
AYv to the Water Birds. Bradley Whiddon, 1896. 172 p. illus.
Cutler, Harry Gardner
History of Florida, Past and Present. N. Y., Lewis Pub. Co. 1932. 3 v.
Dau, Frederick W.
Florida Old and New. N. Y. Putnam Co. 1934. 377 p. plates, ports, and
De Croix, F. W.
Historical, Industrial and Commercial Data of Miami. St. Augustine,
Record Co. n.d. unp.
Book of Twelve. Miami, South Florida Pub. Co. 1928. 64 p.
Dunn, Elias B.
I lorida IT cat her and Climate. (Coral Gables, 1934) 41 p.
Adventures ivith Rod and Harpoon Along the Florida Keys. N. Y.,
Frederick A. Stokes 1925. 271 p. illus. ports.
Fairbanks, George Rainsford
History of Florida. Jacksonville, Drew, 1871. 350 p.
Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, Federal Writers Project
Fowkes, Jesse Walter
Aboriginal Wooden Objects from Southern Florida. Smithsonian Insti
tution. 1928. 2 p. plates. (Smithsonian miscellaneous collections, v. 80, no. 9
Fox, Charles Donald
Truth About Florida. N. Y., Chas. Renard Corp. 1925. 260 p. plates.
Gifford, John Clayton
List of the Trees of the State of Florida. Florida Federation of Women s
Clubs, 1909. 24 p. pamphlet.
Gifford, John Clayton
Reclamation of the Everglades With Trees. N. Y., Brooks, Inc. 1935. 92 p.
Gifford, John Clayton
Rehabilitation of the Floridan Keys. N. Y., Brooks, Inc. 1934. 79 p.
Gifford, John Clayton
Everglades and Other Essays With Reference to Southern Florida. Kansas
City. Mo. Everglades Land Sales Co. (c.1911) 134 p. illus.
Gifford, John Clayton
Prehistoric Mounds in South Florida. Science Mag. 75 :313, 1932.
Gregg, William H.
When, Where and Plow to Catch Fish on the East Coast of Florida.
1885-1902. N. Y. Mathews and Northrup, 1902. 267 p. illus. plates, maps.
Holder, J. B.
Along the Florida Reef. (In Harper mag. v: 42 No. 9, Dec. 1870-May
History of Dade County, Florida. Miami, Privately printed, 1936. 151 p.
illus. ports, maps.
Anthropology of Florida. DeLand, Fla. State Hist. Soc. 1922. 140 p. illus.
Howell, Arthur Holmes
Florida Bird Life . . . N. Y. Coward-MacCann, 1932. 579 p. plates, Maps.
Highways and Byways of Florida . . . N. Y. Macmillan, 1918. 264 p. plates.
Kaplan, Moise N.
Big Game Fisherman s Paradise. Tallahassee, Dept. of Agriculture, 1936.
324 p. illus. maps.
Romance of the Floridas. N. Y., Bruce Pub. Co. 1934. 395 p. illus. ports,
King, Grace Elizabeth
De Soto and His Men in the Land of Florida. N. Y. Macmillan, 1898. 326 p.
Mahon, P. J. and Hayes, I. M.
Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in Florida . . . Hyland and
Florida Fishing, N. Y. Watt, 1931. 320 p. illus.
Moyer, Homer E.
Who s Who and What to See in Florida. Current Historical Co. of
Munroe, Ralph Middleton, and Gilpin, Vincent
Commodore s Story. N. Y. Ives Washburn Co., 1930. 384 p. illus. plates,
Florida, the March of Progress, Tallahassee, Bureau of Immigration, n.d.
63 p. illus. maps.
Plant World in Florida. N. Y. Macmillan, 1933. 304 p.
Norton, Charles Ledyard
Handbook of Florida. N. Y. Longmans, Green and Co. 1891. 392 p. maps.
Florida Trails as Seen from Jacksonville to Key West. Boston, Small,
Maynard and Co. 1910. 300 p. illus.
Priestly, Herbert Ingraham, ed. and tr.
Luna Papers. DeLand, Fla. Hist. Soc. 1928. 2 v. ports.
Town that Climate Built. Miami, Parker Art Co. 1926. 136 p. illus.
Chronology of the Most Important Events Connected with Florida History.
St. Augustine, The Author. 1930. 4 p. maps, pamphlet.
Reese, Joseph Hugh
Florida Flashlights. Miami, Hefty Press, 1917. 115 p.
Rhodes, Harrison Garfield
(iiiidc to Florida for Tourists, Sportsmen and Settlers. N. Y. Dodd 1912.
456 p. illus.
Roberts, Kenneth Lewis
Florida Loafing. Indianapolis, Ind. Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1925. 74 p.
Roberts, Kenneth Lewis
Sun Hunting. Indianapolis. Bobbs-Merrill Co. (c!922) 198 p. plates.
Roberts, Kenneth Lewis
Tropical Growth. (In Saturday Evening Post, April 29, 1922).
Shea, John Gilmary
History of the Catholic Church in the United States. Akron, Ohio, D. H.
McBride and Co. 1892. v. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Simpson, Charles Torrey
Native and Exotic Plants of Dade County. Washington, D. C. Judd and
Detweiler, n.d. 46 p. illus. pamphlet.
Simpson, Charles Torrey
Ornamental Gardening in Florida. Little River, Florida. The author, 1927.
243 p. plates.
Simpson, Charles Torrey
Florida Wild Life. New York, Macmillan, 1932. 199 p. illus. plates.
Small, John Kunkel
Flora of Miami. New York, The Author, 1913. 206 p.
State Department of Agriculture
Possibilities of the Everglades. Tallahassee, Dept. of Agriculture, n.d.
State Department of Agriculture
Florida Resources and Sports. Tallahassee, Dept. of Agriculture. 192 p.
State Department of Agriculture
Florida, an Advancing State. Tallahassee, 1928. 352 p. illus.
Stennis, Mary A.
Florida Fruits and Vegetables in the Family Menu. Tallahassee, Depart
ment of Agriculture, 1930. 100 p. plates, tables, (Bulletin No. 46).
Swanton, John R.
Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors. Washington,
Government Printing Office, 1922.
Stockbridge, Frank Parker
Florida in the Making. By Frank Parker Stockbridge and John Holliday
Perry. New York, Debower, 1926. 351 p. illus.
Sudlow, E. W.
Vizcaya, Romantic Palace on Biscaynf Bay. (In Country Life, 66; 58; 65)
Florida Sketch Book. New York, Houghton, 1924. 242 p.
Verrill, Alpheus Hyatt
Romantic and Historic Florida. New York, Dodd, Mead and Co. 1935.
Walker, Kay, comp.
Beautiful Homes of Miami and Environs. 1926. unp.
Weigall, Theyre Hamilton
Boom in Paradise. New York, A. H. King, (1932). 225 p. plates.
Will, Thomas E.
Everglades of Florida. (In American Review of Reviews, 1914).
Willson, Mrs. Minnie (Moore)
Seminoles of Florida. N. Y. Moffat, Yard and Co. 1931. (c!896).
Winter, Nevin Otto
Florida, the Land of Enchantment. Boston, Page Co. 1918. 380 p. plates,.
Woodward, C. C.
Florida Birds. Tampa, Florida Growers Press. 1931.
Holder, Charles Frederick
Along the Florida Reefs. N. Y. Appleton, 1892. illus.
Designed to Withstand Tropical Storms. (In arts and decoration, Febru
ary 1935. 42: 39).
U. S. Dept. of Engineers
Everglades of Florida; Report 62nd Congress, Document No. 89. Wash
ington, Govt. Print. Office, 1911.
Aborigines (see Indians)
Academy of Arts, 69
Ackerly, Captain, 160
Actors and Showman s League,
Ada Doane (schooner), 160
Addison, John A., 49
Administration Building, 138
Advance-Courier ( newspaper ) ,
Advertising, 55, 59, 92
Agriculture, 10, 47, 48, 50, 71,
Air Travel Service, 126, 127,
Akron (dirigible), 138
Alabama, Chief, 44
Alana, Father, 40
Alcazar Theater, 68
Alegre, Father F. X., 27, 40
Ail-American Air Maneuvers,
Ail-American Air Meet, 13, 101-
Allen, Hervey, 67
Alligators, 18, 22, 29, 129, 131,
Allison Island, 165
Allison, James A., 163
Along the Florida Reef, 17
Alpine rock gardens, 175
Alton Road, 165
American Legion Drum and
Bugle Corps, 66
American Monte Carlo, 64
American Power and Light
American Telephone and Tele
graph Company, 95
Amusements, 7, 159
Annenberg, M. L., 94
Annual events, 101-104, 168-169
Antilles Current, 111
Antondohrn (boat), 122
Aquarium, 129, 176
Arch Creek, 10, 47, 137
Archeologists, 23, 24, 26
Archeology, 23-24, 53
Architecture, 97, 98, 99, 100,
138, 171, 172, 173, 177
Arica, Chile, 175
Art, 69, 99
Artists, 69, 158, 172
Astronomical Observatory, 164
Atlantic coast, 12
Atlantic Ocean, 3, 74, 164
Audubon Societies, National
Association of, 22
Auer, Leopold, 66
Aviators, 137, 138
Azores, 58, 110
Aztec Temple, 137
Bahamas, 41, 93, 111: as part
of Negro population, 4-5
Bailey, J. C., 50
Baker s Haulover, 105, 108, 166
Ballinger, Kenneth, 92
Banyan Tree, 147
Barr, Amelia E., 67, 145
Barr, Andrew, 49
Battle Creek Sanitarium, 137
Bayfront Park, 13, 66, 95, 128
Bayshore Golf Club, 160, 165
Bayshore Golf Course, 165
Bayshore, Long Island, 58
"Beam of Crucifixion," 12
Beach Tribune (newspaper), 94
Beasley, Edmund D., 143
Bechstein Hall (Berlin), 66
Belcher, A. S. 162
Belle Glade, 26
Belle Isle, 123
Bellevere, Ohio, 57
Belvin, William T., 18
Bendle, A. J., 91
Bickell s trading post, 121, 122
Big Cypress, 29, 113, 123
Billy Bowlegs and the Semi-
nole War, 67
Billy, Josie, 39
Biltmore Hotel, 148
Biltmore Way, 176
Bird sanctuary, 22
Biscayne Bay, 3, 8, 11-12, 13,
25, 45, 46, 53, 54, 55, 70, 108,
135, 141, 143, 158, 159, 161,
167, 171, 173
Biscayne Bay Boulevard Com
Biscayne Bay Company, 49
Biscayne Bay region, 70
Biscayne Bay school, 70
Biscayne Fronton, 132
Biscayne Key, 45, 97, 125, 126
Biscayne Navigation. Company,
Biscayne Waterway, 123, 173
Biscayne Yacht Club, 145
Black Caesar, 142
"Black drink," 36-37
Blackman, Reverend E. V., 56,
Blue Dome Fellowship, 69
Board of Trade, 55, 79
Bohland, Gustav, 69
Bohland, Mrs. Gustav, 69
Boom, real estate, 42, 63, 172
Border troubles, 42-45
Borton, F. W., 94
Boyer, Mrs. Harry B., 44
Bradford, Mrs. Myrtle Taylor,
Brady, Edward L., 52, 53
Brahm, William Gerard de, 110
Brazil, 110, 136
Breakers Hotel, 131, 162
Brevard Island, 17
Brickell family, 79
Brickell Hammock, 53, 70
Brickell Park, 134
Brickell Point, 3, 54
Brickell s store, 52, 83
Brickell s trading post, 144
Brickell, William B., 49, 143
Brighton reservation, 39
Brinton, Daniel G., 26
British Government, 175
Broward County, 10, 28, 29, 60
Browning, Robert, 99
Brown, William M., 52
Bryan Memorial Methodist
Church, 142, 147
Bryan, William Jennings, 60,
95, 134, 161, 172, Bible class
Budge, Frank, 52
"Budge s Opera House," 68
Buena Vista, 49, 54, 55
Buenos Aires, 136
Buffalo, New York, 57
Building construction, 63, 64
Bull Steamship Company, 122
Bulward, Eliza, 48
Burlingame, S. S., 91
Busch, Bonnie, 67
Byington, E. T., 91
Calhoun County, 48
Caloosahatchee River, 113
Campbell, Carl, 69
Campeachy, Mexico, 47
Cape Canaveral, 26
Cape Florida, 42, 54, 160
Cape Florida Lighthouse, 43-44,
Cape Jupiter, 160
Cape Sable, 10, 13, 17, 20, 45
Cape Verde Islands, 53
Capone, Al, 123, 167
Capron Trail, 46, 131
Caravel Viscaya (Spanish
Cardinal Club, 66
Caribbean Sea, 106, 110, 111
Carnegie Endowment for Inter
national Peace, 73
Carnegie Institution, 122
Carney, Captain Richard
(Dick), 145, 146
Catholic Church of the Little
Causeways, 123, 159, 160
Central America, 106
Central Florida Highway Asso
Central News (newspaper), 93
Cermak, Mayor Anton J., 128
Cervera, Admiral, 53
Chamber of Commerce, 60, 63
Channel of Yucatan, 111
Chapman Field, 58, 63, 77, 148
Charltos, Mr., 49
Chase, Henry, 55, 68
Chess Club, 69
Chestnut Billy Indian Village,
Chevalier Corporation, 115, 116
China, 110, 175
Chi s Cut, 45-46
Christian Science Church, 142
Churches, 3, 56, 99, 142, 147
Citizen (newspaper), 93
Citrus, 10, 51, 76, 130, 131, 173
City Cemetery, 46, 84
City of Key West (boat), 83
City of Richmond (boat), 83
City Yacht Basin, 3, 121, 124
Civic Center, 101
Civic Theater of Greater Miami,
Civilian Conservation Corps
Civil War (See War between
Claiborne, Governor, 42
Clark, Archibald, 42
Clark Steamship Company, 122
Clephane, Lewis Painter, 69
Cleveland, 50, 57
Climate, 8, 9-10, 63, 101
Clyde Mallory Steamship Line,
Coconut Grove, 40, 49, 53, 55,
58, 65, 97, 145:
Architecture of, 141-142
Early History of, 141
First Church at, 142-143
Made Part of Miami, 146
Once Spanish Mission, 142
Pirates Lair at, 142-143
Social Life in, 141
Coconut Grove Housekeeper s
Club, 145, 147
Cocoplum Plaza, 148
Cohen, Isidor, 67
Colee massacre, 47
Colee s Hammock, 47
Collier, Barren G., 93, 115
Collier County, 115:
Indian reservations in, 28,
Collins Canal, 16, 23, 123, 165
Collins, John S., 57, 159-164
Collins Park, 164
Colonial Towers, 60
Columbia Broadcasting System,
Columbia, South Carolina, 43
Columbia University, 72
Colum, Mary, 67
Colum, Padraic, 67
Committee of One Hundred, 160
Commodore s Story, The, 67
Commodore Stockton ( steam
Community Club, 144
Comrade II (boat), 124
Coney Island, 159
Congregational Society, 144
Congress Building, 60
"Consecrated Stars", 12
Coolidge, President Calvin, 38
Coontie, 25, 33, 51, 79, 141
Coppick, Marie, 44
Coppinger s Pirates Cove and
Tropical Gardens, 121, 122
Coral, 21, 124, 125, 128, 173
Coral Gables, 11, 15, 58, 60, 62,
Coral Gables Art Center, 69
Coral Gables Bus Company, 168
Coral Gables Canal, 164
Coral Gables Chamber of Com
Coral Gables Community House,
Coral Gables Congregational
Coral Gables Golf and Country
Club, 176, 177
Coral Gables Library, 176, 177
Coral Gables Realty Board, 168
Coral Gables Riding Academy,
Coral Gables Riviera, 94
Coral rock, 127, 173
Coral Ship, The, 67
Coral Way, 171
Corey Osceola Indian Village,
Cosgrove, Daniel, 52
County Causeway, 3, 4, 60, 100
County seat, 54
Courses of study, 73
Cox, James M., 91
Crystallizing plant, 134
Cuba, 40, 41, 43, 45, 53, 133,
Cultural background, 5, 6
Cultural development, 55
Curtis Exhibition Company, 138
Curtis, Glenn H., 137, 138
Curtis, Glenn H., Company, 58
Cutler (town), 84
Cypress area, 127
Bade County, 22, 24, 41, 43, 48
Bade County Commission, 114
Bade County Courthouse, 3, 45,
54, 55, 130
Bade County jail, 54
Bade, Major Francis L., 43
Daily News (newspaper), 44,
Daily News and Metropolis
Daily News Tower, 129, 130
Daily Tribune (newspaper), 93-
Ballas Park Hotel, 46
Bammers, Edward E. (Boc),
Bania, 28, 35, 39
Bann, J. A., 80
Bavis, Jefferson, 113
Bavis, Mary Ann, 42
"Bavis Military Map," 45
Bay, Joseph H., 50
Bean, S. Bobo, 91
Beering, James, 14, 15, 98, 126,
Belespino, Joseph, 42
Bensmore, Frances, 67
Benver Post (newspaper), 92
Deutsches Echo, Florida s
Bickenson, Jonathan, 26
Binner Key, 58, 100, 135
Bisston contract, 50
Bixie Highway, 47, 137
Bixie Highway Association, 114
Bocks, dry, 129
Bomestic workers, 4
Bouglas Archway, 177
Bouglas Entrance, 177
Bouglas, Marjorie Stoneman,
Brainage, 11, 29
Buke, Bruscilla, 44
duPont, Alfred I., 94
Butch Government, 175
Byce, Robert, 48
Eagan family, 43
Eagan, John, 42
Eagan, Lewis grants, 45
Eagan, Rebecca, 42
Eastern Airways, 137
East Florida, 41
Eighteenth Amendment, 56
Elections, 48, 52
England, 40, 123
English, Harriet, 49
English, William F., 45, 49
Enloe, Br. Gillespie, 161
Equestrian Statue of an Indian,
Erickson, Dr. C. J., 56
Erie Canal, 57
Ernest, John Augustus, 41
Eskilson, C., 79
Evening Record (newspaper),
Everglades, 3, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17,
18, 19, 22, 44,, 45, 47, 54, 113,
114, 127-128, 137, 171, 176
Everglades National Park (pro
Fairchild, Dr. David, 148
Faulkner, T. W., 49
Fauna, 3, 17-22, 127, 128, 137,
Featherly, C. G., 91
Featherly, Wesley M., 91
Federal Highway, 47
Federal Housing Administra
Federal Reserve Bank, 60
Field, E. T., 160
Fildes, Frank T., 94
Fink, Denman, 69
Fire Department, 55
Firestone, Harvey S., 164-165
First Church of Christ Scien
tist, 99, 142
First Congregational Church,
First Methodist Episcopal
First Presbyterian Church, 56,
Fisher, Carl G., 162, 163
Fisher, Reverend L. L., 56
Fisher s Island, 126
Fishes, 105-110, 126, 127, 129
Fitzpatrick, Richard, 43, 48, 84
"Five Mile Hammock," 47
Flagler East Coast Railroad, 83
Flagler, Henry M., 50-51, 54, 56,
57, 64, 65, 84, 85, 97, 130,
131, 134, monument as me
morial to, 167
Flagler Hotel, 131
Flagler Memorial Library, 134
Flagler system, 50
Flamingo Feather, The, 67
Flamingo Hotel, 163
Flamingo Park, 149
Flamingos, 17, 22, 127, 133
Flamingo Waterway, 123
Fleetwood Hotel, 171
Flora, 4, 13-16, 76, 98, 116, 117,
135, 154, 166, 176
Florida Adirondack School for
Florida Association of Music
Florida East Coast Railroad,
46, 57, 84
Florida East Coast Steamship
Florida Federation of Women s
Clubs, 22, 69
Florida Keys, 23, 24, 121
Florida Motor Lines, 155, 168
Florida National Guard (see
Florida, State of)
Florida Poets, 67
Florida Seminole Agency, 39
Florida, State of:
Constitution of 1868, 28
National Guard, 62
Florida Straits, 110, 111
Florida WPA Art Galleries, 134
Florida Year Round Club Men s
Golf Championship. 170
Florida Year Round Club Wom
en s Golf Championship, 170
Floridian Hotel docks, 156
Fogal Boat Yard, 122
Folklore, 12, 66
Fontaneda, Escalante de, 24-26
Ford, Frank G., 50
Ford, Henry, 60
Fort Myers Chamber of Com
merce, 113, 114
For Myers-Miami Road, 114
Bankhead (Russell), 45
Dallas, 44. 45, 54, 99, 131
Lauderdale, 38, 46, 62, 160
Myers, 18. 39
Pierce, 45, 46, 111
Russell (Bankhead), 45
Foster, Judge E. K., 143
Fowey Rock Light, 145
Fowey Rocks, 111
France, 40, 58
Franklin, Benjamin, 110
French and Indian War, 40
Friend, Father A. B., 56
Friendly Society, 56
Friendly Society Hospital, 56
Frohman, Daniel, 69
Frow, Joseph, 143
Furguson, George, 79
Furguson, Thomas, 79
Galapaygos (play), 67
Garden, Mary, 61
Garthside, Charles, 161
Geology, 10, 19, 23
"Gertie Reynolds, The," 68
Gesu Catholic Church, 56
Gibbons, Floyd, 67
Gifford, Dr. John C., 67
Gilpin, Vincent, 67
Giraldo Tower, 129
Giraldo Tower of Seville, 99,
Glades County, 28
Gomez, Eusebio Maria, 42
Gomez y Horc asitas, 40
Goodyear Blimp, 126, 127
Gossman family, 84
Government Cut, 3, 108, 123,
124, 126, 127
Government, municipal, 58
Graf Zeppelin (dirigible), 138
Graham, Walter S., 52, 91
Gramling, John C., 161
Great Britain, 42-43
Greater Miami Airport Associa
Great Southern Railroad, 84
Great Spirit, 33
Green Corn Dance, 34, 35, 36-39
Grefe, Will, 69
Greyhound Lines, 168
Greynold s Park, 137
Grover, Stillwell, 160
Gulf of Mexico, 8, 9, 42, 74, 76,
106, 111, 122
Gulf Stream, 7, 9, 105, 107, 110-
Hagan, James, 42
Hagan, Mrs., 42
Hammocks, 11, 13, 20, 25, 133
Harkness, Stephen, 57
Harney River, 46
Harris, Dr. J. V., 49
Hatchet Building, 68
Hay, Edgar Lee, 69
Health Survey of Indians, 32
Hearst, William R., 62
Helen Lee Doherty Milk Fund
Charity Ball, 170
He-Man (story), 67
Hendry County, 28
Hen Hotel, 132
Herald (Rome, Georgia) news
Hialeah Park, 7, 63, 127
Hialeah Park Race Track, 132,
Hibiscus Island, 123
High Times (school newspa
Highways, 80, 87, 88, 113, 114,
115, 117, 147, 148, 149
Hilder, Howard, 147
Hill, Captain Bennett C., 45
Hine, Edward, 144
Hine, Thomas, 144
Hine, Mrs. Thomas, 144
History, 40, 89
History of Dade County, Flor
History of the Company of
"Hobo Express," 6
Holder, Dr. J. B., 17, 21
Hollingsworth, Tracy, 54, 67
Homestead (town), 46, 84, 109
Hoover, President Herbert, 17
Horse racing, 63, 102
Horticulture, 149-150, 151, 152-
Hospitals, 32, 56
Hotel Country Club, 99-100
Hotel Halcyon, 55, 60, 97
Hotels, 155, 168
Housekeepers Club, 65, 141,
Hubbell, Henry Salem, 69
Hubbell, Willard, 69
Humes, Ralph H., 69
Hurricane (play), 67
Hurricanes, 8-9, 61, 64, 98, 99
Illustrated Daily Tab (news
paper), 93, 94
Immokalee, 34, 35
Imperial Conservatory of Mu
Indian Agency, 32
Indian Camping Grounds, 53
Indian Creek, 123, 165
Indian Hammock, 47
Indian Key, 24, 54
Indian River, 46
Indians, 18, 42, 43:
A "canoe" people, 14, 23
Agriculture of, 30
Ais, tribe of, 26
Apalachicolas, tribe of, 27
As fur trappers, 19
Burial rites of, 35-36
Calusas, tribe of, 23-24, 25,
Ancestors of inhabitants
of Martyres, 27
King Senguene, 25
Removal to Havana, 27
Written information con
Camp fires, 30
Canoes, 30, 54
Territory of, 25
Tribute paid to, 26
Chachi, Chief, 46
Civilization, effect of, on,
Coontie (food), 25
Cuchiyaga, village of, 24
Depredations, 44, 47
Diet, 19, 23, 25, 30, 32
Dress, 24-25, 31
Driven from homes, 43
"E - shock - e - toni - isee"
"E - shock-e-tom-issee-e-po-
chee" (son of God), 33
Guacata, village of, 25, 26
Guarugunve, village of, 24
Lake O-ki-ho-bi, terri
tory of, 25
Lake Mayaimi, region oc
cupied by, 25
Legends, 25, 33
Massacred Dade, 43
Miamias, 26, 40
Miccisukies (of Big Cy
Mounds, 23-24, 53
Muscogees (or Okeecho-
Mode of living, 29-30
tory of, 25
Santaluces, tribe of the
Seminole, 5-6, 28, 66:
Attack on Cape Florida
Burials, 34, 35-36
Child birth, care and
training of children,
Descendants of Creeks,
Legends and beliefs, 33-
Marriage Regulations, 34,
Medical care, 32
Medicine man, 32, 33
Property rights, 28, 29,
Sanitary conditions in
Tony Tommy s appeal to
Trials and punishments,
Tribal laws, 36
Wards of Government, 28
"Sofkee" (cooking- pot), 30
Strongholds, refuge for es
caped slaves, 27
Tiquesta, 25, 26, 27, 40
Timucuan, 23, 27
Written information con
Indian Trading Post, 143
Ingraham, James E., 50-51
Ingram, Rex, 145
Internal Improvement Fund,
International Relations Club,
Intracoastal Waterways, 12
Isle of Normandy, 3, 23, 123
Jack s Bight, 143, 145
Jackson, General Andrew, 43
Jackson, James M., 80
Jackson, Theodore W., 56
Jacksonville, St. Augustine and
Halifax Railroad, 57
Jamaica, 14, 147
James M. Jackson Memorial
Jaudon, Captain James F., 113,
Jeans, Paul G., 94
Jesuit Mission of Sequesta, 40
Jesuits, 26, 40
Jewish Floridian, 93
Jones, Sam, 33
Junior Chamber of Commerce
Drum and Bugle Corps, 66
Jupiter, 17, 42
Jupiter Inlet, 26
Kaplan, Moise N., 107
Katzentine, A. Frank, 95
Kellog, Dr. John Harvey, 137
Kelly, Mr., 68
Kennard, Mrs. Spencer, 69
Key Biscayne, 42
Key Largo, 49, 148, 176
Keys, 10, 13, 23
Key Vaccas, 48
Key West, 43, 44, 51, 54, 56, 57,
Key West Extension, 84
Key West Marine Hospital, 135
King George III, 41
Knight s Key, 84
Knowlton, A. L., 51
Knowlton s Tropical Fish Aqua
Labor unions, 93
La Gorce Golf Club, 123
La Gorce Island, 123
Lake Charles, Louisiana, 58
Lake Okeechobee, 11, 23, 25,
45, 50, 113
Lake Pancoast, 164
Lake Worth, 49, 53
Lambert, Mrs. Floris, 94
La Monica, Caesar, 66
Land grants, 41-42, 143
"Land of the Tomato Kings",
Laramore, Vivian Yeiser, 67
LaSalle, A. L., Sr., 92
LaSalle-Stoneman Company, 92
Latin American Institute, 170
Latin- American relations, 73
Lawrence, Colonel, 122
Lawrence, Natalie Grimes, 67
Leonardo de Vinci, 135
Lee County, 114, 115, 116
Left Handers Golf Champion
Lemon City, 49, 54, 55, 56, 70
Levi, John H., 163
Lewis family, 43
Lewis, Frankie, 41-42
Lewis, Johnathan, 42
Lewis, Polly, 42
Liberty Square, 134
Library, 55, 56, 66, 72
Limestone, 173, 176
Lincoln Road, 158
Little Bahama Banks, 111
Little River, 11, 47
Little River section, 67
Lopez de Velasco, 27
Lost Lake Caverns, 175
Lum, Charles, 160
Lum, Henry B., 160, 161
Lummus, J. E., 52, 164
Lummus, John Newton, 161
Lummus Park, 124, 137, 164
Lummus Park Tourist Center,
Lusitania (ship), 55
McDonald, Joseph, A., 52
McDonald, R. E., 114
McFarlane, Flora, 147
McFarlane Road, 147
McQuade, James, 68
Madison, President James, 42
Machado, President, 62
Macon (dirigible), 138
Maine (battleship), 52
Maloney, W. Cathcart, 48, 49,
Maps, 47, 110
March, Mrs. Minnie, 67
Marde Sargaco, 112
Market, City Curb, 122, 130
Married Ladies Afternoon Club,
Martin Commercial Ship, 135
Martin County, 28
Martin, Governor John W., 62
Martyres, 24, 27
Matecumbe, 24: hurricane dis
Matheson Hammock, 148
Mauritania (ship), 55
Memoirs and History of Miami,
Menendez, Pedro de Aviles, 26,
Men s Amateur Golf Champion
Men s Bible Class, 172
Merchants and Miners Steam
ship Company, 122
Meredith, J. C., 84
Mermaid (boat), 124
Merrick, George E., 172, 173,
Merrick, Richard, 69
Merrick, Solomon G., 172
Merrill-Stevens Plant, 122
Metaur, William, 49
Metropolis (newspaper), 52, 53
55, 95, 126
Metropolitan Miami Fishing
Mexican mission, 147
Mexican oil, 59
Mexican port, 49
Mexican War, 51
Mexico, 136, 147
Miami and Dade County, 143
Miami W. P. A. Art Center, 69
Miami Aquarium, 129
Miami Beach, 15, 16, 24, 57, 62,
64, 158, 159, 163: architec
Miami Beach Bayshore Com
Miami Beach Congregational
Miami Beach Fishing Pier, 166
Miami Beach Improvement
Miami Beach Kennel Club, 124
Miami Beach Lummus Park,
Miami Beach Municipal Golf
Miami Beach Public Library,
Miami Beach Railway Com
Miami Beach Theater, 156, 158
Miami Biltmore Golf Course,
169, 170, 171, 173
Miami Biltmore Hotel, 99
Miami Biltmore Open Golf
Miami Biltmore Pool, 126
Miami Biltmore Tower, 171
Miami Broadcasting Company,
Miami Canal, 58
Miami Choral Society, 55
Miami City Hospital, 56
Miami Edison High School, 72
Miami Electric Light and
Power Company, 59
Miami W. P. A. Art Galleries,
Miami Herald (newspaper), 48,
Miami Hotel Building, 52
Miami Improvement Company,
Miami Jockey Club, 60
Miami Marco Road and Canal
Mia\mi Millions, 92
Miami Music Club, 66
Miami Printing Company, 91
Miami River, 3, 11, 14, 18, 21,
23, 25, 26, 35, 40, 42, 43, 44,
45, 46, 49, 50, 58, 63
Miami Seaplane Service, Inc.,
Miami Senior High School, 33,
Miami Shore Corporation, 88
Miami Shores, 60, 88
Miami Springs, 99
Miami Symphonic Band, 175
Miami Symphony Orchestra, 66
Miami Transit Company, 87
Miami Traction Company, 86,
Military Road, 47
Miller, W. F., 68
Millionaires Row, 121
Million Dollar Pier, 124
Minsky Burlesque, 158, 159
Mississippi River, 28
Mississippi River Valley, 42
Mixed Doubles Tennis Champ
Mixed Foursome Medal Golf
Mocking bird, 22
Model Land Company, 50
Monaca, Father, 40
Monroe County, 28, 29, 115
Monroe, President James, 43
Montgomery, John D. ( 94
Mooring Mast, 138
Morning News-Record (news
Morris, Allen, 48
Morse, Honorable Frederick S.,
Mosquitoes, 11, 32, 138
Motto (schooner), 44
Municipal Airport, 101
Municipal Dirigible Hangar, 138
Municipal Golf Course, 165
Municipal Steamship Docks,
Municipal Yacht Basin, 128,
Munroe, Commodore Ralph
Middleton, 67, 147
Munroe, Kirk, 67, 145
Musa Isle Indian Village, 132
Music, 66, 121
"Mythical River Jordan," 25
Nassau, 58, 61, 136
National Association of Audu-
bon Societies, 22
National Broadcasting Com
National League of American
Nation, Carrie, 56
"Nation s Sugar Bowl, The," 11
Native Wood Exhibit, 133
Natural bridge, 10
Nautilus Hotel, 166
Negroes, 4-5, 161
New Biscayne, 143
Newfoundland Banks, 110
New Orleans, 42
New River, 42, 46
News (newspaper), 92
News Tower, 56, 91, 99
New York, 63
New York Zoological Society,
Night clubs, 156
Nigger Dick, 34
Nikko (boat), 123
North Miami Zoo, 137
Occidental Steamship Compa
Ocean Beach, 162
Ocean Beach Realty Company,
Ocean Drive, 159
"Ojus" (rock), 21
Okeechobee County, 28
"Old Black Road," 47
Old Inlet, 46
Opa Locka, 95, 99, 137, 138
Opa Locka Zoo, 138
Orchard Dell Gardens, 132
Order of St. Francis, 160
Osborn, Ezra, 160
Osceola, Chief, 35
Osceola, Cory, 32
Osceola, Edna John, 35
Osceola, John, 35
Overseas Highway, 64
Owen, Ruth Bryan, 69, 147
Palm Beach, 51, 57, 110, 131
Palm Beach County, 47
Palm Island, 123
Pan American Airport, 100, 126
Pan American Airways, 63,
126, 135, 137
Pan American Airways Base,
Pan American Bus Lines, 155
Pan American Forum, 73
Pan American system, 136
Pancoast, Thomas J., 161
Para, Brazil, 136
Parent-Teacher Association, 66,
Parnell, Aileen, 69
Parris Island, South Carolina,
Parker, Cora, 69
Parks, 13, 14, 128, 131, 134, 137,
Park Way, 137
Partak, A. W., 93
Peacock, Charles, 143, 144
Peacock Inn, 144
Peacock, Jack, 143
Pent, Aunt Tilly, 144
Pent, John, 143
Pent, Old Ned, 144, 145
Pent, Temple, Jr., 48
Pent, Temple, Sr., 48
Pent, William, 48
Perrine, Dr. Henry, 47
Perry, Francis W., 113
Peters, Thomas J., 60
Pflueger s Marine Museum, 131
Pfister, Jean Jacques, 69
Philadelphia Inquirer, 94
Phillips, Dr. O. S., 32
Pickerts family, 68
Piers, 105-110, 124, 128, 129
Pineapples, 143, 144
Pine Tree Drive, 158, 161
Pioneers, 50-51, 52
Pirates, 42, 142
Pirate s Cove, 122
Pirate s Cove Indian Village,
Plant, Henry, 50
Plant Line, 84
Plant, Morton F., 84
Poems Inspired by Florida, 67
Polk County Informant (news
Pompano (town), 109
Ponce de Leon, 25
Ponce de Leon entrance, 177
Pont, Ned, 53
Population, 3, 5, 6, 52
Port of Spain, 136
Porter, Dr. Horace P., 143, 145
Postal Building, 95
Potter, Dr. R. B., 49
Powell, Lieutenant L. M., 45
Press Association, 114
Press Radio Bureau, 95
Prinz Valdemar (sailing ves
Prout s Opera House, 68
Pryor, Arthur, 130-131
Pryor s Band, 95
Public Works Administration
"Punch Bowl District," 11
Puerto Rico, 136
Radio, 62, 94-96, 115
Railroads, 50, 51, 52, 113, 122
Rainfall, 8, 10, 16
Real estate, 63
Reconstruction following hur
Record (newspaper), 92
Recreation, 55, 101-102
Recreational area, 131
"Redbird Oily," 22
Red Cross, 62
Redlands, 54, 84
Redlands County (proposed),
Redlands District, 74
Rehabilitation of the Florida
Keys, The, 67
Reilly, Mayor John B., 52
R^tjeti (newspaper), 93
Revolutionary War, 41
Reynolds, Gertie, 68
Rhodes, Samuel, 70, 143
Richardson, Adam C., 49, 79
Richardson, C. O., 68
Rio de Janeiro, 136
Rio de Ratone, 26
Rio Grande, Texas, 12
"River of Rats," 26
Riviera Golf Course, 169
Roberts, Dan, 84
Rockefeller, John D., 57
Rock Garden, 128
Rod and Reel Club, 105, 155
Roddy Burdine Stadium, 101
Romfh, Mayor E. C., 62
Roney, N. B. T., 94, 163
Roney-Plaza Hotel, 162
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 100, 128
Roosevelt Hotel, 60, 100
Rose, Captain Charles J., 21,
Royal Palm docks, 3
Royal Palm Hotel, 3, 13, 23, 52,
53, 81, 84, 97
Royal Palm Park, 22, 130
Royal Poinciana Hotel, 131
Runyon, Damon, 67
Saginaw, Michigan, 57
Sahara Desert, 8
St. Augustine, 26, 51, 57
St. Francis Hospital, 123, 165
St. Johns River, 58
St. Joseph, 48
St. Lucia, 42
St. Lucie County, 28
St. Patricks Catholic Church,
St. Petersburg, 66
St. Stephens Episcopal Qhurch,
Saint Teresa, 176
Salvadore Park, 176
Sandusky, Ohio, 57
San Francisco earthquake, 62
San Ignacio, 26, 40
San Juan, 136
Sargasso Sea, 112
Sausage Tree, 148
Savage Caribs, 19
Saw grass, 11-12, 29
Scottish Rite Temple, 99, 132
Seaboard Air Line Railway, 60
Seagrove, Captain, 123
Sea Shell House, 133
Sea weeds, 111
Seminole camp, 122
Seminole Queen (boat), 254
Seminole War, 27, 28, 43, 45,
Senior High School, 14
September Remember, 67
Seville, Spain, 129
Sewell, Everest, 52
Sewell, John, 52, 53
Shark River, 46
Shelter Island (boat), 83
Shutts, Frank B., 92
Silver Bluff, 143
Simpson, Charles Torrey, 22,
Simpson Park, 134
Slaves, 28, 142
Smith, Avery C., 55
Smith, Buckingham, 25
Smith, Richard M., 161
Smithsonian Institution, 24
Smith s Pavilion, 161
Smoot, Joe, 60
Snapper Creek Canal, 148
Soils, 11, 12, 13
Sonyd of the Wind on a South
ern Shore, 172
South America, 175
South American cities, 63
South American goods, 64
South Beach, 55, 159, 161, 162
Southern Baking Company, 61
"Southern Cross," 12, 128
South Florida naturalists, 134
"South Loop," 115
Spain, 40, 41, 43
Spanish: allies of, 45; crown,
41-42; influences, 33
Sports clubs, 101-105
Stafford, George, 48
Standard Oil Company, 57
Star Island, 163
Staten Island, 14, 143
Statistics, 63, 71, 74, 80
Stoneman, Frank B., 55, 56, 92
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 144
Sturtevant, Ephraim T., 50
Sturtevant, Julia, 50
Sumter County, 43
Sunny Isles, 105, 166
Sunny Isles Club, 166
Sunset Islands, 117, 123
Sunset Lake, 123, 160
Surfside Park, 166
Surprise Lake, 123
Surveys, 12, 114, 116
Swamp lands, 11
Tahiti Beach, 148, 171, 173
Tallahassee, 113, 114
Tamiami Trail, 6, 17, 61, 63,
108, 113-117, 171, 177
Tamiami Trailways, 168
Tampa-Fort Myers Road, 114
Tatum, B. B., 91
Tatum Brothers Company, 51,
Taylor River, 45
Taxes, 28, 63-64, 174
Tea Table Key, 47
Territorial Legislative Council,
Territory of Florida, 41
Thanksgiving Day Annual Golf
Thaw, Evelyn Nesbit, 60
Theaters, 68-69, 158
Thew, George M., 50
Thompson, John W. B., 44
Through Swamp and Glade, 67
Tice, Richard, 42
Tietjens, Eunice, 67
Tigertail, Chief Jack, 34, 122
Times (newspaper), 93
Titles, land, 41-43
Tommy, Edna, 35
Tommy, Tony, 35, 38-39
Tonyn, Governor Patrick, 41
Topography, 6-7, 8, 10, 11, 15,
Tourists, 59, 63, 105
Tours, 126, 127
Townley, Thomas, 52
Townsite surveyed, 51
Trade winds, 9, 110
Traffic regulations, 49, 82, 110,
Trans-Radio Press, 95
Trapp, Harlan, 70
Trapp, Henrietta, 70
Treaties, 28, 40, 41, 43
Tribune (newspaper), 93
Tropical Park, 7, 63
Tropical Park Race Track, 176
Tropical Radio Station, 62, 95
Tropical Radio Telegraph, 95
Tuesday Morning Club, 66
Turner, George Kibbe, 67
Turks Island, 61
Turtles, 51, 137
Tuttle, Frederick Leonard, 50
Tuttle, Mrs. Julia D., 45, 46,
50, 51, 64
Union Chapel, 144
United Fruit Company, 95
United States, 44, 53:
Army, 45, 122, 124, 135
Chapman Field training
Aviation Training School,
Coast Guard, 142
Air station, 121
Congress, 42, 47
Customs Border Patrol, 122
Department of Agriculture,
Department of Commerce, 95
Government, 11, 27, 28, 38,
Meteorological station, 44
Naval Air Base, 130
Plant Introduction Gardens,
Post Master General, 60
Post Office, 53, 166
Treasury Department, 135
Signal Corps, 97
Troops, 43, 44, 46
War Department, 53
Weather Bureau, 95
United Press, 95
University Hospital, 168, 174,
University of Miami, 65, 72,
University of Miami Sym
phonic Orchestra, 175
Vanderbilt, Cornelius, Jr., 99
Vanderbilt estate, 126, 127
Vanderbilt Newspapers, Inc., 94
Vanderbilt, W. K., 126
Venetian Causeway, 3, 123, 124,
Venetian Causeway Company,
Venetian pool, 116, 172, 176
Venetian Way, 86
Victoria Lake region, 148
Villa Francisco, 165
Villareal, Brother, 40
Villa Serena, 134
Villa Viscaya, 134
Virginia Hammock, 148
Virginia Key, 60, 125
Virginian, The, 146
"Viscaya" (Deering estate), 98
Vivian, H. B., 133
Volpe, Dr. Arnold, 66
Wagner s Grove, 56
Walton, Izaak, 105
War between the States, 143
Warr, James C., 55, 161
Washington, D. C., 48, 122
Washington, George, 12
Water* supply, 8
Waterways, 11-12, 32, 45-46
Weather, 1, 35, 143; "great
Weaver, Dumain, 69
West coast, 17, 63
West Florida, 41, 42
West Indies, 23, 172, 178
West Palm Beach, 20
"Western Reserve," 57
Weyler, General, 53
Wheeles, W. S., 50
Where the Pavement Ends
(motion picture), 145
White, Stanford, 60
White Temple, 56
White Palace, 97
Williams, Mrs. Cortland, 44
Willson, Minnie Moore, 37, 66
Wilson, F. Page, 70
Winter Institute of Literature,
Wire grass, 10 ,
Wister, Owen, 146
Woman s Club, 22, 65, 66, 69
Wood, Gar, 123
Woodlawn Park Cemetery, 35
Woodward, Dewing, 69
Wood, William, 69
Works Progress Administration
(WPA), 176, 177:
Art project, 69, 177
Music project, 66, 113
World War, 3, 58, 59, 63, 114
Worth s Stockade, 46
Writers Press Association, 86,
Yacht basin, 53
Yellow fever, 54
Yucca moth, 15
Zaring, Louise, 69
Zucca, Mana, 66